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Every 3rd businessman gives bribe because of refusal to connect to electricity

Every third entrepreneur in Bishkek gave a bribe because of the refusal to connect to electricity supply system. A study on corruption in the power industry of Kyrgyzstan conducted by Evidence CA says.

As noted, corrupt practices occur not only at the connection level, but also further — during unscheduled and planned raids, which are most often carried out during the heating season.

Almost half of the surveyed entrepreneurs use electricity for heating.

According to the study, the most common cause of refusal to connect to electricity supply is the overloading of network. To solve this problem, entrepreneurs often resort to informal methods, such as involvement of intermediaries (33 percent), offering informal payments (20 percent).

About 70 percent of the respondents answered that the bribe amount is 10,000-20,000 soms, 18 percent — 21,000-50,000 soms, 4 percent — more than 270,000 soms.

The authors of the study noticed that the construction sector is the most prone to corruption. More than half of the surveyed entrepreneurs gave a bribe 14-30 percent more often than representatives of other spheres.

The connection process consists of seven stages and takes 10-30 days. The contract for the supply of electricity, connection and reconnection is renewed every two years. 91 percent of the surveyed entrepreneurs are clients of Severelectro OJSC, 6 percent — of private distribution companies.

Two-thirds of entrepreneurs choose any available supplier due to the lack of alternatives.

 The respondents are representatives of the garment sector, medical, educational services, construction, trade, IT sector, communications, catering and beauty salons. In general, 191 questionnaires have been processed during the study. In addition, expert and in-depth interviews with entrepreneurs were conducted.