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>Bangladesh now No 10

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>THERE has been no significant success in the unprecedented anti-corruption drive in the last 19 months in Bangladesh, which has ranked 10th among the most corrupt countries this year. (Full report)
Bangladesh has jumped up three positions to 147th with 2.1 points in the annual global corruption perceptions index (CPI) of the Transparency International (TI) with a mere 0.1-point increase. Kenya, Russia and Syria have scored the same.
Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) said the shift in position bears almost no significance in terms of reining corruption; it is rather the result of decline in other countries’ status.
The international anti-corruption watchdog’s Bangladesh officials blamed three factors for the country’s poor score–absence of administrative reforms, influence on the judiciary, and insecurity and uncertainty in business and investment.
“Point-one increase is not at all statistically significant,” Prof Muzaffer Ahmad, chairman of TIB board of trustees, said at a press conference at the Jatiya Press Club yesterday. The CPI 2008 was unveiled at the press conference.
Pointing to an apparent failure in maintaining the integrity of the legal process, TIB Executive Director Iftekharuzzaman said, “If the oversight institutions could work properly, for example, if the judiciary were not influenced, Bangladesh’s position could have been better in the index.”

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