Worldwide, the scores of 73 countries have declined, 59 increased and 48 remained same in 2018
Bangladesh has slipped six steps — to 149th position — in Transparency International’s (TI) Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) scoring 26 out of 100.
Berlin-based TI’s Bangladesh chapter unveiled the CPI 2018 — which ranks 180 countries across the globe based on their levels of corruption — at its Dhanmondi office in the city yesterday morning.
Bangladesh had ranked 143rd in the CPI in 2017, scoring 28 points.
Prior the 2018’s slide, Bangladesh made significant progress in recent years by making it to 17th position in graft index in 2017, leaving behind the tag of most corrupt nation (during 2001-2005 period).
In 2018, the country also ranked fourth and Afghanistan second from the bottom among the countries of Asia Pacific region.
Transparency International Bangladesh said a National Anti-corruption Strategy has become necessary to implement zero tolerance in order to improve the situation.
Speaking at the CPI unveiling program, TIB Executive Director Dr Iftekharuzzaman said: “Bangladesh’s slip on the Corruption Perceptions Index is embarrassing. We are quite disappointed with Bangladesh’s latest ranking in the CPI.”
Meanwhile, scoring 88 points in the CPI, Denmark has become the least corrupt country in the world, and Somalia ranked as the most corrupt country with 10 points.
Among Bangladesh’s neighbours: Bhutan ranked 25th, India 78th, Pakistan 117th, Sri Lanka 89th, Nepal and the Maldives 124th, and Myanmar 132nd in the CPI.
Worldwide, the scores of 73 countries declined, 59 increased and 48 remained same.
The data for the CPI scale was compiled from across the world between November 2016 and September 2018.
However, in a tweet Monday, TI also said: "Being at the top of the #CPI2018 doesn't mean a country is #corruption free. High ranked countries also have corruption that the CPI doesn't measure."
Factors behind the result
Unveiling the corruption index, TIB has identified a number of reasons that likely played a role in Bangladesh’s drop in the rankings.
The possible factors include deficit of delivery against commitment, high-profile corruption addressed rarely, pervasive conflict of interest-political and government position perceived as means of enrichment, unabated financial and banking sector crisis, and embarrassingly high and unabated illicit financial transfers.
The factors behind the result, according to TIB, also include weakening institutions of accountability, deficit in effectiveness and independence of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), denial syndrome, impurity-weakening rule of law, and shrinking media and civil society spaces.
TIB on Tuesday also made some recommendations to bring down the level of corruption.
It urged the authorities to ensure effective delivery of the prime minister’s zero tolerance policy against corruption without fear and favour, effectively challenge impunity, and bring the corrupt to justice irrespective of their status or identity.
TIB also said that a number of effective institutions were also needed — including parliament, ACC and other institutions of accountability, judiciary, Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit, Office of the Attorney General, Office of the Comptroller and Auditor General, and the National Board of Revenue.
Apart from these, professional integrity and impartiality of public service; administration and law enforcement agencies free from political influence; robust access to information; faster, wider and deeper digitization; and increased space for citizens, media, civil society, NGOs for effective voice and demand for accountability were also necessary to battle corruption, added the anti-graft watchdog.