Bangladesh billed as most corrupt country for 5th time, 1st lead

Bangladesh has once again topped the list of most corrupt nations, this time along with central African country, Chad. [1st lead]
Published : 17 Oct 2005, 12:00 PM
Updated : 17 Oct 2005, 12:00 PM
Dhaka, Oct 18 (BDNEWS) – Bangladesh has once again topped the list of most corrupt nations, this time along with central African country, Chad.
This is the fifth consecutive time that Bangladesh has been put on top of "Corruption Perception Index (CPI)" of the Berlin-based Transparency International (TI).
The country's score was the lowest in CPI although it rose to 1.7 in 2005 from 1.5 in 2004. Bangladesh's score was only 0.4 in 2001 first topped the list of corrupt nations.
"Bangladesh has been consistently a poor performer in the CPI, reflecting the perception that, rampant corruption continues to undermine sustainable development," said the TI report, published Tuesday in a row from Berlin, Germany.
Prof Muzaffar Ahmed, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Transparency International, Bangladesh (TIB), released the report at a press conference at the National Press Club.
Prof Ahmed said it would not be proper to brand Bangladesh as the most corrupt country. "Bureaucracy, businesses and people involved in the government are responsible for corruption, not the people who suffer the most," he said.
A total of 159 countries were surveyed in the TI 2005 CPI, which were 146 last year.
Iceland obtained the highest score of 9.7, reflecting less corruption, followed by Finland and New Zealand with 9.6. Denmark, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, Norway, Australia and Austria have been placed 4th to 10th positions in the CPI score.
More than two-thirds of the 159 nations that were surveyed, scored less than 5 out of a clean score of 10, indicating high level of corruption in many countries, the TI report said.
Of the South Asian countries, India's position is 92nd with a score of 2.9, Pakistan 146th, Nepal downgraded to 123rd from 90th last year and Sri Lanka 78th from 67th.
Among the countries included in the Index, corruption is perceived as most rampant in Chad, Bangladesh, Turkmenistan, Myanmar and Haiti, which are also the poorest countries in the world.
"Corruption hampers achievement of the millennium development goals by undermining the economic growth and sustainable development that would free millions from the poverty trap," the TI report said.
Asked, Prof Muzaffar said extensive research found that FDI flows are lower in countries perceived to be corrupt.
"Bangladesh's investment policy is very lucrative for the foreign investors," Muzaffar said, adding despite that the country is not getting expected level of foreign investment due to unabated corruption, particularly in politics and law enforcement and judiciary.
"Donors' help is around 3 percent of our gross domestic product (GDP) and if we can stop this corruption, we will be able to go without their help," he said.
He said another TI report would be published during the tenure of the present government. If the government takes steps to curb corruption by strengthening the newly established anti-corruption commission, the country might come out of the disgraceful distinction, he added.
The CPI is a composite survey, reflecting the perceptions of business people and analysts, both resident and non-resident. It draws on 16 different polls from 10 independent institutions.
For a country to be included in CPI, it must feature in at least 3 polls. This year Bangladesh featured in seven polls, which were three last year.
BDNEWS/1653 hrs.

The editor-in-chief disclaims all responsibilities for any content published before June 2006.