Bangladesh has retained 146th position from top in Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) 2020 of Transparency International (TI) with an unchanged score of 26 out of 100.
The country has held the same position and score from 2018, suggests the latest CPI ranking among 180 countries unveiled by the local chapter of the Berlin-based anti-graft watchdog on Thursday. It, however, slipped two notches to 12th position from the bottom this year whereas it was placed at 14th position in 2019.According to the index, Bangladesh continued to be ranked as the second most corrupt country among eight South Asian nations after Afghanistan. It is also the fourth most corrupt nation in 31 countries in the Asia-Pacific region. Uzbekistan and the Central African Republic also scored 26 in CPI 2020 index.
“Even though Bangladesh’s score remained unchanged, it is still far below the global average of 43. It is the second-worst performer out of eight South Asian nations and fourth most corrupt country out of 31 Asia-Pacific countries, which is embarrassing and disappointing,” remarked Dr Iftekharuzzaman, Executive Director of Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB)
Denmark and New Zealand shared the top position with 88 score, while South Sudan and Somalia hit the bottom of the ranking as the world’s most corrupt nations with a score of 12.
India, the largest country is South Asia, slipped by six notches to be placed at 86th position with losing one score to 40 this time.
Bhutan, the Maldives and India are the top scorers in South Asia respectively. Pakistan is one step ahead of Bangladesh in South Asia with 31 points, but it slipped four positions.
The TIB boss thinks that Bangladesh could do much better, had it ensured good governance through political integrity and strictly enforced law irrespective of the identity of wrongdoers.The exposed grafts in health sector amid the Covid-19 crisis were also a key barrier to Bangladesh’s improvement in graft situation, he added. The government invests little in health care while corruption flourishes. Corruption during COVID-19 ranges from bribery in health clinics to misappropriated aid, TI said in its report.
Besides, corruption is pervasive in the procurement of medical supplies and contracts between powerful business people and government officials, it added.
“Although announcement for zero tolerance against graft has come from the Prime Minister, it has been confined to the announcement only,” Dr Iftekharuzzaman pointed out.
Some 121 countries of 180 or 67.2 per cent scored below 50; 105 countries or 58 per cent scored less than the global average of 43. Score declined in 48 or 27 per cent countries; increased in 62 or 34 per cent countries and remained the same in 70 or 39 per cent countries.
France, US, China and Russia have been marked as low performers with, 69, 67, 42 and 30 scores. High performers with 70 plus score are UK (77), Hong Kong (77), Austria (76), Belgium (76), Iceland (75), Estonia (75), Japan (74), Ireland (72), UAE (71), and Uruguay (71)
Some neighbouring countries’ score are: Malaysia (51), Indonesia (37), Vietnam (36), Thailand (36), Philippines (34), Myanmar (28) and Laos (29) For improving the situation of Bangladesh, TI suggested effective delivery of PM’s declaration of zero tolerance against corruption without fear or favour.
It also sought a paradigm shift in the political culture free from treating political and public position as a license to personal gains – effective control of business relation of the publicly exposed persons with the state.
The suggestions also include effective institutions of accountability – professional integrity and impartiality of ACC, public service, administration and law-enforcement agencies free from partisan political influence along with banking and financial sector transparency.