Bangladesh better than only Afghanistan in the region

Bangladesh has slipped two places in the Global Corruption Perception Index 2020 released by the Transparency International (TI) and is ahead only of Afghanistan in tackling graft among its South Asian neighbours.

The index by the Berlin-based organization for last year was released by its Bangladesh chapter, Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB), on Thursday.

Bangladesh is positioned at 146 among 180 countries in the latest rankings.

The CPI uses a scale of 0 to 100, which means 100 is very clean and 0 is most corrupt. Bangladesh’s score in the latest index is 26.

“The performance is disappointing — no improvement in score or ranking from the top and significantly lower than 2019 in terms of ranking from the bottom,” TIB Executive Director Dr Iftekharuzzaman said about Bangladesh while revealing the Corruption Perception Index (CPI).

“Of the eight South Asian countries, Bangladesh remains second lowest both in score and rank — better than only Afghanistan, which has ranked 165th from the top and scored 19, three points higher than last year,” Iftekharuzzaman noted.

According to the CPI, Bangladesh’s ranking is the 4th lowest among 31 countries in the Asia-Pacific included in the index — only better than Cambodia, Afghanistan and North Korea.

No country was able to obtain the full score of 100 in the index.

Denmark and New Zealand jointly secured the first place as the least corrupt nations by scoring 88.

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Meanwhile, South Sudan and Somalia emerged as the most corrupt countries with the score of 12.

Besides, France and the US became notable low performers with scores below 70.

Factors behind Bangladesh’s ‘disappointing’ rank

TIB Executive Director Iftekharuzzaman said the government had declared a zero-tolerance policy against corruption, but its execution is hardly satisfactory.

He pointed out several key factors behind Bangladesh’s “disappointing” rank including the “failure of high-profile anti-corruption pledge to be transformed into reality”, the “erosion of political integrity”, “dysfunctionality of key institutions”, “sustained impunity”, and the detachment of policies from public interest.

Corruptions in the health sector amid the Covid-19 crisis, ineffectiveness of the ACC in holding the “big fish” accountable and restrictions on freedom of speech are some of the other reasons, added Dr Iftekharuzzaman.

Ranking over the years

Bangladesh ranked first as the most corrupt country for four successive years — 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2004.

In 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 it ranked 3rd, 7th, 10th, 13th and 12th, respectively.

Bangladesh became the 13th most corrupt country in 2011 and 2012. It ranked 16th in 2013, 14th in 2014, 13th in 2015, 15th in 2016, 17th in 2017, 13th in 2018 and 14th in 2019.

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