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Dhaka Tribune

Unlucky 13 for Bangladesh again

Update : 27 Jan 2016, 07:05 AM

Bangladesh is as corrupt as before, according to Transparency International’s (TI) Corruption Perception Index (CPI).   

For the second year in a row, Bangladesh ranked 13th from the bottom - and 139th from the top -  in 2015, Tranparency International Bangladesh (TIB) Executive Director Dr Iftekharuzzaman disclosed at a press conference at the organisation's Dhanmondi office on Wednesday morning.

A culture of denial in some quarters of the political elite had given rise to a culture of impunity, Iftekharuzzaman said. He stressed that a strong political will to fight corruption was a must and said the rule of law must be allowed to function free of political influence.

He added that people with links to power continued to capture land, forests, rivers and water bodies, and to default on bank loans.

The public trust is low in light of high profile corruption scandals such as those involving Sonali Bank, Basic Bank, Destiny Group, Rana Plaza and the stock market, the TIB executive director said. The media, civil society and NGOs in particular must be given a conducive environment in which to demand public sector accountability, he added.

 

"The ACC is widely perceived to have been subjected to direct or indirect political and government influence, undermining its independence and effectiveness," the Iftekharuzzaman said. "The ACC for its part is not believed to have demonstrated the professionalism and capacity befitting its mandate." 

According to CPI 2015, Bangladesh is again the second-worst performer in South Asia, better only than war-ravaged Afghanistan, which scored 11 and ranked 166th, the second lowest globally. 

Every other South Asian country - Bhutan, India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Nepal - performed better than Bangladesh. 

At the bottom of the list are Somalia and North Korea, each scoring 8 points.

Bangladesh was earlier placed at the bottom of the list for five successive years from 2001-2005.

In 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 Bangladesh was ranked at no 3, 7, 10, 13, and 12 respectively while in 2011 and 2012 we were 13th, 16th in 2013, and 14th in 2014.

Countries perceived to be least affected by corruption are: Denmark on top for the second successive year having scored 91, followed by Finland (90), New Zealand (89), Netherlands and Norway (87), Switzerland (86), Singapore (85), Canada (83), and Germany, Luxembourg and the UK (81). 

Aside from Singapore, only Japan, Hong Kong, Qatar and the UAE scored 70 or more in the Asian region.

Launched in 1995, CPI provides an international comparison of countries by perceived prevalence of corruption. It is a survey of surveys (12 in 2015) conducted by reputed international organisations.

Information used in CPI relates to corruption in the public sector, particularly political and administrative; conflicts of interest; unauthorised payment in the delivery of government functions, justice, executive, law enforcement and tax collection. The government's capacity to control corruption is also considered.

CPI is generated on the basis of data collected from multiple reputable sources, and this year's data for Bangladesh were collected from seven sources: the Economist Intelligence Unit-Country Risk Assessment, Global Insight Country Risk Ratings, International Country Risk Guide, World Bank Country Policy and Institutional Assessment, World Economic Forum Executive Opinion Survey, World Justice Project-Rule of Law Index and Bertelsmann Foundation Transformation Index.

CPI defines corruption as the abuse of public office for private and political gain. No data generated by any of TI local chapter research is considered for analysis and global rating.

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