Bangladesh has moved one step up to 14th position from the bottom among 180 countries in the Corruption Perception Index (CPI) 2019 of the Transparency International.
However, its overall corruption situation has remained unchanged as its score remained the same at 26 out of 100 like 2018. Higher score means less corruption.Local chapter of the Berlin-based graft watchdog Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) unveiled the CPI 2019 report at a press conference at its office on Thursday.
“Even though we’ve moved one notch up in the corruption Index, our score has not changed, which is very important. We’ve advanced as some countries might show poor performance. So, there is no room for complacency for us,” TIB Executive Director Dr Iftekharuzzaman commented.
Denmark and New Zealand jointly grabbed the top position with 87 score while Somalia hit the bottom of the CPI with a score of 9.
Bangladesh’s ranking from the top, however, improved by three steps to 146th place which was 149th in 2018. Its score was way behind the global average score of 43 in a scale of 100.
Among the 8 South Asian countries, Bangladesh remains the second most corrupt country both in score and ranking after Afghanistan that scored 16 to be placed at 173rd position.
Its ranking is the 4th lowest among 31 Asia-Pacific countries, better than only Cambodia, Afghanistan and North Korea.In SAARC region, Bhutan came top with 25th ranking and 68 score followed by India and Sri Lanka. India and Sri Lanka’s positions are at 80th and 93rd with 41 and 38 scores respectively.
Other South Asian nations — Nepal, Pakistan and the Maldives — have been placed at 113th, 120th and 130th positions with 34, 32 and 29 scores respectively.
Bangladesh has shared 14th position with Iran, Nigeria, Guatemala, Angola, Honduras and Mozambique with the CPI score of 26.
Explaining the reason for high corruption perception in Bangladesh, Iftekharuzzaman said: “A hype was created with anti-graft drive last year, but scepticism about the results of these drives among people is also high.”
Political linkages to corruption, inability to address high-profile corruption, weakening of institutions of accountability and impunity, ACC’s effectiveness deficit, shrinking, media and civil society space have also been blamed by TI.
Dr Iftekharuzzaman thinks that Bangladesh has enough legal and infrastructural capacity to score better, but there is limitations in application of that capacity.
“Had Bangladesh been able to curb corruption efficiently, its economic growth would have been 2-3 percent more,” the TIB boss pointed out, citing some reference.
“The country’s opportunity cost is much higher because of high corruption,” he added.
The CPI 2019 results showed that 73 percent or 131 out of 180 countries scored below 50 while 60 percent or 108 countries scored less than global average of 43.