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Set more anti-graft instances to improve score: TIB

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Dhaka,UNB - Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) Executive Director Dr Iftekharuzzaman on Thursday said, one or two examples of punishment is not enough, more examples needed to be set up to improve Bangladesh's score in Corruption Perception Index (CPI).

TIB executive director came up with the remark while answering the reporters after a press conference on Corruption Perception Index 2017, where he revealed that Bangladesh has ranked 143rd among the 180 countries in the Berlin-based Transparency International's index.

Asked about the BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia's punishment, he said, such examples can bring temporary contentment only, but there is nothing to be assured of.

If the practice of taking action against corruption overlooking social status and identity cannot be continued, the improvement will not be sustainable, he said.

The CPI index covers 180 countries and territories on a scale from 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean), says the TI study released globally.

According to the CPI 2017 report, on the scale of 100, Bangladesh has scored 28 among all the countries, an increase by two points compared to 26 scored in CPI 2016.

All South Asian countries - Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka -- scored more and ranked higher than Bangladesh in CPI 2017 except Afghanistan.

CPI identifies the possible factors behind the result this time, which include -

*Improved score and rank for positive perception about potentials of legal, institutional and policy context, impressions about benefits of digitization including e-procurement

*Deficit of delivery against commitment

*High-profile corruption rarely addressed

*Political and government position perceived as means of enrichment

*Unabated grabbing of land, river and water bodies, loan default; growing political control of contracting and recruitment business

*Embarrassingly high and unabated illicit financial transfers

*Weakening institutions of accountability; monopolization of political space
*Deficit in effectiveness and independence of Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC)

*Denial syndrome, impunity- weakening rule of law

*Shrinking media and civil society space

To improve its position, TIB suggests a few things, which include -

*Political will to deliver political and government pledge without fear and favour

*Effective challenge impunity and bringing the corrupt to justice irrespective of status or identity

*Effective institutions (National Integrity System) such as Parliament, ACC and other institutions of accountability, BFIU, Attorney General's Office, OCAG, NBR

*Professional integrity and impartiality of public service, administration and law-enforcement agencies free from partisan political influence

*Robust access to information

*Inclusive development (leaving no one behind) consistent with SDG commitment

*Increased space for citizens, media, civil society, NGOs for effective voice and demand for accountability

Bangladesh was earlier placed at the bottom of the list for five successive years from 2001-2005. In 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010, it was ranked 3rd, 7th, 10th, 13th, and 12th positions respectively while both in 2011 and 2012, Bangladesh was 13th, 16th in 2013, 14th in 2014, and 13th in 2015.

This year's Corruption Perceptions Index highlights that the majority of countries are making little or no progress in ending corruption, while further analysis shows journalists and activists in corrupt countries risking their lives every day in an effort to speak out.

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