TI finds Bangladesh most corrupt in South Asia

TI finds Bangladesh most corrupt in South Asia

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Bangladesh ranked 14th from the bottom in the Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) 2014, two notches worse than last year’s 16th position, showing that the country’s overall corruption scenario has deteriorated compared to the previous year.
Executive director of Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) Dr Iftekharuzzaman unveiled the annual CPI at a press conference held at the Jatiya Press Club on Wednesday.
The global graft index shows that Bangladesh scored 25 points out of 100, two points less from 27 last year when it became 16th in the CPI. This year, Bangladesh has been ranked 145th from the top among the 175 countries while it was 136th last year.
The index covers 175 countries and territories on a scale from 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean), says the TI study released globally.Bangladesh had ranked 13th from the bottom in 2011 (183 countries) and 2012 (176 countries).
The CPI revealed that Bangladesh is the second highest corrupt nation in the South Asia scoring 25 followed by Pakistan (29), Nepal (29), India (38) and Sri Lanka (38).  Afghanistan (12) is on the top of the corrupt countries in South Asia while Bhutan (65) is the least corrupt nation.
TIB Trustee Board chairperson advocate Sultana Kamal, its members Hafizuddin Khan and ATM Shamsul Huda, and TIB deputy executive director Prof Sumaiya Kabir were present on the occasion.
Speaking at the press conference, Dr Iftekharuzzaman said the nation’s corruption scenario is still at an alarming level as the CIP shows that it lowered nine steps from the top in the index this year.
Indentifying many reasons behind the poor score of Bangladesh, he said deficits of delivery of anti-corruption pledges, attempts to curtail independence of the Anti Corruption Commission, Padma Bridge graft, share market scam, Hall-Mark, Sonali Bank and other banking scams, Destiny swindling and Rana Plaza collapse contribute to achieving low score in the CPI this year.
“Widespread land, river and wetland grabbing, and tender manipulation, weakness of institution of accountability particularly parliament, conflict of interest issues, whitening black money and illicit financial transfer also contributed to the TI index.”
Terming corruption an impediment to development, the TIB executive director said as the corruption is affecting all sectors in Bangladesh, corrupts cannot be brought to justice.
“Corruption is spreading in the country due to the existing culture of patronising graft,” he said, adding that the majority of people are not corrupt but victims of it.
Sultana Kamal said the country’s poor people are suffering a lot because of the absence of a culture of accountability and pervasive corruption. “We have not noticed firm visible action from the government to effectively prevent corruption. The government should take the responsibility for its failure to keep up its political commitments,” she added.
Somalia and Democratic Republic of Korea (North) are in the lowest notch from the bottom in the TI’s graft index jointly scoring 8 followed by Sudan (11), Afghanistan (12), South Sudan (15) and Iraq (16).
Denmark is the least corrupt country around the world having scored 92. New Zealand is in the second position in the CPI with a score of 91 followed by Finland (89), Sweden (87), Norway (86), Switzerland (86), Singapore (84) and the Netherlands (83).
The data used in the CPI 2014 have been collected during February 2011 to August 2014.
The Corruption Perceptions Index 2014 serves as a reminder that the abuse of power, secret dealings and bribery continue to ravage societies around the world. No country has a perfect score, and two-thirds of countries score below 50. This indicates a serious, worldwide corruption problem.
The Transparency International, a Berlin-based anti-graft watchdog, has been publishing the report every year since 1995. The report was published in Dhaka as well in other countries simultaneously today. – Agencies

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