Bangladesh improves on its graft image about Corruption.
Bangladesh has dropped from the position of the 3rd most corrupt country to a tied position of the 7th most corrupt in this year's Transparency International (TI) world corruption perception index (CPI).
But the country still retains the same corruption perception score of 2 despite the anti-corruption crackdown by the current caretaker government.
TI attributed the unchanged score to the heavy influence of 2006 data that had not captured the results of the ongoing institutional reforms, and to the perception of uncertainty and insecurity among the business community sparked by the ongoing anti-corruption crackdown.
Five other countries -- Cambodia, Central African Republic, Papua New Guinea, Turkemenistan, and Venezuala -- tied with Bangladesh on the same score, while Somalia and Myanmar were perceived to be the most corrupt.
Denmark, Finland, and New Zealand shared the tag of the least corrupt country.
Bangladesh's ranking is 162nd among the least corrupt out of 180 countries, just below trouble-torn Zimbabwe. The index was prepared by Berlin-based TI.
Publicising the index at a news briefing in the National Press Club in the capital yesterday, TI Bangladesh Trustee Board Chair Muzaffer Ahmad said Bangladesh's drop to the 7th position despite retaining last year's score is because of the addition of another 20 countries to the CPI, many of which scored below Bangladesh.
"This also proves that at least corruption is not increasing in Bangladesh," said Muzaffer, referring to the country's five-year stint in topping the index of corrupt countries.
The CPI, prepared annually by the Berlin-based TI, ranks countries in terms of the degree to which corruption is perceived to exist among public officials and politicians in a country by experts and business surveys.
Pressed on why the score remains the same despite the anti-corruption crackdown by the caretaker government, Muzaffer said Bangladesh could have fared worse if the positive results achieved between January and July this year did not offset the worsening corruption data of 2006.
Explaining why the score remains the same, TIB Executive Director Iftekharuzzaman said, "Included in this year's index were data collected until the end of July 2007, which means CPI 2007 was relatively more influenced by the data from 2006."
He added that since business surveys provide the data, 'it is quite likely that a perceived sense of insecurity and uncertainty that is widely believed to have prevailed among the business community in wake of the post 1/11 anti-corruption drive in Bangladesh, might have prevented the possibility of a better score'.
TIB also said it is too early to say how Bangladesh's score will be affected by the ongoing institutional reforms undertaken by the current government in separating the judiciary, and in reforming the Election Commission, Anti-corruption Commission, and the Public Service Commission.
Referring to the arrest of those associated with corruption in the past and the signing of the UN Convention against Corruption, TIB said the effectiveness of these measures will determine Bangladesh's score in 2008 and beyond.
"It might well be that only in the years to come the positive impact of such reforms would be more clearly discernible," Iftekhar added.
He said the current anti-corruption crackdown and institutional reforms will accelerate Bangladesh's fight against corruption, and will help the country score 3 in the CPI, a landmark point denoting corruption is not rampant in a country.
"It took Bangladesh ten years to improve from 1.2 to 2, achieved last year, and if the current trend continues, it will take the country another 12 years to reach the score of 3," Muzaffer said.
Bangladesh, however, remains at the bottom of the South Asian scorecard with India ranking as the 72nd, Pakistan 138th, Sri Lanka 94th, and Nepal the 131st least corrupt countries. Bhutan fared the best in South Asia, ranking as the 46th least corrupt with a score of 5.
Tags: Bangladesh , Politics , Government , Transparency
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.