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Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Pakistan ranked 42nd most corrupt country

Pakistan has been ranked as 42nd most corrupt country, among 180 countries ranked by the 'Transparency International Corruptions Perceptions Index (CPI) 2009' released here on Tuesday. Pakistan is followed by Bangladesh and India. New Zealand has been ranked as the cleanest country, and Somalia ranked 180th as the most corrupt country.
The CPI 2009 has been described as survey of the surveys that measures the degree to which corruption is perceived to exist among public officials and politicians in 180 countries around the world. It focuses on perceptions, and not hard data (latter difficult to obtain and validity questionable, eg by comparing number of prosecutions or court cases). CPI 2009 draws on 13 different polls and surveys, from 10 independent institutions, carried out among experienced observers such as business people and country analysts, including local experts.
"The Government is governing Pakistan without governance, and Pakistan has lost credibility all over the world, due to which the country is facing serious economic threats, poverty, inflation, food and electricity shortages and increase in unemployment, which are direct results of the massive on-going corruption," said Adil Gilani, Chairman of Transparency International (TIP), while releasing the CPI at a press conference here.
In Doha United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) conference, held on November 9-13, 2009, the United Nations had put a price tag on corruption--estimating that up to $1.6 trillion in public assets move across borders each year through networks such as money laundering or into secret holdings.
The 2009 Corruption Perception Index looks at perceptions of public sector corruption in 180 countries and territories and is a composite index that draws on 13 expert opinion surveys. It scores countries on a scale from zero to ten, with zero indicating high levels of perceived corruption and ten indicating low levels of perceived corruption.
The vast majority of countries included in the 2009 index score below five on a scale from 0 (perceived to be highly corrupt) to 10 (perceived to have low levels of corruption). The CPI measures the perceived levels of public sector corruption in a given country and is a composite index, drawing on 13 different expert and business surveys.
The 2009 edition scores 180 countries, the same number as the 2008 CPI. According to the chairperson of Transparency International, Labelle: "Stemming corruption requires strong oversight by parliaments, a well performing judiciary, independent and properly resourced audit and anti corruption agencies, vigorous law enforcement, transparency in public budget, revenue and aid flows, as well as space for independent media and a vibrant civil society."
"The international community," she said, "must find efficient ways to help war-torn countries to develop and sustain their own institutions." Highest scores in the 2009 CPI are New Zealand at 9.4, Denmark at 9.3, Singapore and Sweden tied at 9.2, and Switzerland at 9.0. These scores reflect political stability, long-established conflict of interest regulations and solid functioning public institutions.
Pakistan's 2009 CPI score is 2.4 and, out of 180 countries, its ranking as most corrupt country has slipped five ranks--from 47th in 2008 to 42nd most corrupt country in 2009. It also reveals the effects of corruption in the subcontinent, which is more alarming in Pakistan, as Bangladesh which was the most corrupt country in 2001, 2002 and 2003, has improved in ranking from 38th most corrupt country in 2008 to 42nd most corrupt country in 2009.
Gilani said that Transparency International is of the view that terrorism is the direct result of poverty, resulted only and only due to corruption (defined as "misuse of authority for private gains"), and mainly illegal direct/indirect armed forces rules in Pakistan since 1951 to 2007, fully endorsed by corrupt judiciary. The positive impacts will be visible next year of the few steps of good governance taken during last one year of the restoration of judiciary by the Prime Minister by an executive order on March 16, 2009 (after lawyers' movement supported by opposition parties, civil society and above all media), declaration of judiciary by the Chief Justice to be zero tolerance for corruption and withdrawal of draft NRO bill from national assembly (on strong protest of opposition of parties and civil society, he said.
He said Transparency International congratulates Pakistan Army, which has proved to the world that Pakistan armed forces are the best. The elimination of terrorists in Swat in two months by Pakistan Army is what USA and Nato forces failed to achieve in eight years in Iraq and Afghanistan, which has made Pakistan a proud nation.
Army chief has also taken up seriously violation of Public Procurement Rules by Defence Housing Authority (DHA) and army purchases, and advised to follow the rules, which is a healthy sign and warning for those who are violators of rules. Gilani said that the government must make serious efforts to apply rules and regulations across the board, to achieve the goal of reducing corruption.
In the last 10 years, the economic growth of Bangladesh, and deterioration in Pakistan economy can also be judged from the currency parity rates of Pakistan, Bangladesh vs Dollar in 1999:2009, taka/Pak rupee was 49.65: 51.84 and in 2009 it is taka/Pak rupee 70.39: 83.46.
He said that Pakistan needs immediate enforcement of good governance and transparent administration to counter the acute problems of billions of rupees corruption scams reported in Pakistan Steel, Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP), Employees' Old Age Benefit Institute (EOBI), Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), rental power plants, Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC), National Insurance Corporation (NIC), National Housing Authority (NHA), Oil and Gas Development Corporation (OGDC), Pakistan State Oil (PSO), Pakistan Electric Power Company (Pepco), Capital Development Authority (CDA), DP Division, Defence Housing Authorities (DHs), Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP), National Bank of Pakistan (NBP), PC, and many other organisations.

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