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Corruption Perceptions Index: Bangladesh still second last in South Asia since 2012

  • Published at 07:17 am January 23rd, 2020

Bangladesh moves three notches up — from 149 to 146 out of 180 countries — in the index

Bangladesh’s score in the Transparency International's global Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) 2019 has remained unchanged, compared to last year’s index.

The country has scored 26 out of 100 in the index, in which the global average is 43.

As a result, Bangladesh has remained the second last South Asian nation — ahead of war-ravaged Afghanistan — in the latest CPI for the eighth straight time, revealed Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) yesterday.

Bangladesh, however, has moved three notches up — from 149 to 146 out of 180 countries.

The country has also improved when considered from the bottom of the list as it became 14th, jumping one step ahead.

Disclosing the findings at its Dhaka office yesterday, TIB said Bangladesh registered a mixed performance.

“Though we moved ahead on the index, our score didn’t change. So, there is nothing to be satisfied about,” said TIB Executive Director Iftekharuzzaman.

“Maybe, some countries performed poorly and that’s why Bangladesh’s position improved in the index,” he observed, and added that the country’s overall performance could have been much better if political commitment was vigorously applied against irregularities.

TIB Executive Director Iftekharuzzaman speaks at a seminar at TIB office on January 23, 2020 | Focus Bangla

In the index, Bangladesh’s performance was determined based on the findings of eight surveys conducted by international organizations between December 2017 and October 2019.

According to the Berlin-based graft watchdog, 10 reasons led to the static score of Bangladesh.

Terming political correctness an element of the index, Iftekharuzzaman said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s strict stance against corruption was not only in her electoral pledges centring the 11th general election, which is reflected in the CPI.

Nevertheless, inaction regarding influential offenders may be a reason for the low and static score, he feared, and said conflict of interest among politicians, the government and the administration allowed corruption to spread.

The state’s interference in the banking sector, and political control of development projects and public service recruitment are also among the major causes of corruption, he said.

Responding to a query regarding the Anti-Corruption Commission’s (ACC) role, Iftekharuzzaman said the anti-graft body needs stronger law and organizational power to work more effectively, since the “big fishes” involved in corruption do roam free.

“Since the government formulated it [ACC] as a constitutional body, a section within the government do try to establish influence on it,” he further said.

On the upward trend in the country’s growth, Iftekharuzzaman added: “Bangladesh could have posted a double digit growth if corruption was checked properly.”

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