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Corruption in B’desh still alarming: TI

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Staff Reporter
Bangladesh ranked 16th from the bottom in the Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) 2013 showing that the country’s corruption scenario is still remains at an alarming level.
On a scale of 0 to 100, Bangladesh scored 27 gaining one more score than previous year, says the report released globally on Tuesday.
However, Bangladesh ranked 13th from the bottom in 2011 (183 countries) and 2012 (176 countries).
The Index covers 177 countries and territories on a scale from 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean).
Executive director of Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) Dr Iftekharuzzaman unveiled the annual CPI at a press conference held at TIB office in the capital. TIB Trustee Board chairperson advocate Sultana Kamal was present on the occasion.
The CPI revealed that Bangladesh is the second highest corrupt country in the South Asia scoring 27 followed by Pakistan (28), Nepal (31), India (36) and Sri Lanka (37).
Afghanistan (8) is on the top of the corrupt countries in South Asia while Bhutan (63) is the least corrupt nation.
Speaking at the press conference, Dr Iftekharuzzaman said as per the government’s election pledge to curb corruption, it did not take any significant step to implement its pledge, which poses negative impact on the CPI. “The government has played one kind of game with the ACC (Amendment) Bill casting an impact on the index,” he said.
Iftekhar said Padma Bridge graft, railway scandal, share market scam, Hall-Mark, Destiny swindling, widespread land, river and wetland grabbing, and tender manipulation also contributed to the TI index.
He said the government’s pressure on the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC), the questionable role of the commission in dealing with high profile graft cases, withdrawal of graft cases in political consideration and institutional weakness in curbing graft are the main reasons behind securing low score in the CPI.
Sultana Kamal said as per the pledge of the government, it did not take effective and proper steps to check corruption in country. “The progress in the CPI is not significant,” she added.
Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of Korea and Somalia are the lowest position from the bottom in the CPI index jointly scoring 8 followed by Sudan (11), South Sudan (14), Libya (15) and Iraq (16).
Denmark and New Zealand are the least corrupt countries around the world having scored 90 each. Finland and Sweden are in the second position with score 89 while Norway and Singapore jointly secured the third position with a score of 87.
The Corruption Perceptions Index 2013 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 report underscores the urgent need for a renewed effort to crack down on money laundering, cleanup political finance, pursue the return of stolen assets and build more transparent public institutions.
The Transparency International, a Berlin-based graft watchdog, has been publishing the report every year since 1995. The report was published in Dhaka as well in other countries simultaneously today.