India still low in corruption index: Transparency International


New Delhi : India continues to be placed poorly on the corruption scale – ranked 72 among 180 countries this year, international watchdog agency on governance, Transparency International (TI) said Wednesday.

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India’s rank at 72 on the corruption index is also shared by China, Mexico, Morocco and Peru while Pakistan is way down at 138th position.

The agency’s scale is based on the perceptions of the degree of corruption by businesspeople and country analysts. Countries are on a scale of 10, and any score below 5 indicates “serious” perceived levels of corruption, while scores below 3 reflect “rampant” corruption, the agency said.

India scored between 3.3 to 3.7.

The divide in perceived levels of corruption in rich and poor countries remains as sharp as ever, according to the 2007 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), released by TI.

India was at the 70th position among 163 countries last year.

The global coalition against corruption maintained that developed and developing countries must share responsibility for reducing corruption, in tackling both the supply and demand sides.

“Despite some gains, corruption remains an enormous drain on resources sorely needed for education, health and infrastructure,” said Huguette Labelle, chair of Transparency International.

“Low scoring countries need to take these results seriously and act now to strengthen accountability in public institutions. But action from top scoring countries is just as important, particularly in cracking down on corrupt activity in the private sector.”

The change in country coverage in the 2007 CPI relates to the fact that three new sources have been included – the Asian Development Bank’s Country Performance Assessment Ratings, the African Development Bank’s Country Policy and Institutional Assessments and the Bertelsmann Transformation Index.

This allowed for the inclusion of Afghanistan, Cape Verde, Comoros, Djibouti, Guinea-Bissau, Kiribati, Liberia, Maldives, Montenegro, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Tonga and Vanuatu

Denmark, Finland and New Zealand are the least corrupt countries, which jointly top the list with integrity index of 9.4 points each.

Myanmar and Somalia have been ranked as the most corrupt nations in TI’s 2007 index, – adding pressure to the Southeast Asian country’s military regime as it faces the biggest anti-government protests in nearly two decades.

Both Myanmar and Somalia received the lowest score of 1.4 out of 10.

“Countries torn apart by conflict pay a huge toll in their capacity to govern,” the agency’s international chairman Huguette Labelle said in a statement.

“With public institutions crippled or nonexistent, mercenary individuals help themselves to public resources and corruption thrives.”

Western governments have accused Myanmar’s junta – which seized power in 1988 – of turning what was once a jewel of Southeast Asia into one of its most miserable places through repression, mismanagement and corruption.

Somalia has been ravaged by violence and anarchy since warlords overthrew dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991 and then turned on one another. The current, UN-backed government was formed in 2004, but has struggled to assert any real control.