The Transparency International (TI) maintained on Tuesday that Pakistan was the only country among the five member states of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) that improved its Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) score.
The rest of the four countries — India, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh — scored the same or scored less as compared to the score in 2014, the TI said in its report on the CPI 2015, which is scheduled to be formally launched on Wednesday (today).
In a statement, TI Pakistan Chairman Sohail Muzaffar said the CPI score for Pakistan this year had again increased by one point to 30, while its rank improved by three.
“Pakistan should have performed better, which can be achieved by having on-ground measures for the implementation of zero tolerance for corruption,” he added.
He hoped the government would take serious steps to implement the recommendations of TI Pakistan which might result in marked reduction in corruption and much better CPI in future.
The index covered perceptions of public sector corruption in 168 countries. The CPI-2015 showed that people working together can succeed in the battle against corruption.
“Although corruption is still rife globally, more countries improved their scores in the 2015 edition of Transparency International’s CPI than declined,” the statement said.
Overall, two-thirds of the 168 countries on the 2015 index scored below 50, on a scale from 0 (perceived to be highly corrupt) to 100 (perceived to be very clean).
Denmark took the top spot for the 2nd year running, while North Korea and Somalia turned out to be the worst performers, scoring just 8 points each.
Brazil was the bigger decliner in the index, falling 5 points and dropping 7 positions to a rank of 76. The other major decliners include Libya, Australia, Spain and Turkey while the big improvers include Greece, Senegal and United Kingdom.
While their points declined in 2015, citizen activists in places like Guatemala, Sri Lanka and Ghana worked hard to drive out the corrupt, sending a strong message that should encourage others to take decisive action in 2016, said the statement.
The CPI is based on expert opinions of public sector corruption.
The countries’ scores can be helped by open government where the public can hold leaders to account, while a poor score is a sign of prevalent bribery, lack of punishment for corruption and public institutions that do not respond to citizens’ needs.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 27th, 2016.