ISLAMABAD: With the general elections approaching, the credibility of all ruling parties in the country suffered a major blow on Wednesday with the release of the Transparency International’s (TI) annual report.
The report listed Pakistan as the 33rd most corrupt country in the world, as it slipped down nine ranks from its last year’s place as the 42nd most corrupt country. Denmark, Finland and New Zealand emerged as the cleanest nations as far as corruption was concerned, and tied at first place with scores of 90 each, thanks to the strong access to information systems and rules governing the behaviour of those in public positions.
Meanwhile, Afghanistan, North Korea and Somalia once again were seen clinging to the bottom rung of the index and were declared the most corrupt states. In these countries, the lack of accountability of leadership and effective public institutions underscored the need to take a much stronger stance against corruption, according to the report.The TI’s Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) 2012 had ranked 176 countries by their perceived levels of public sector corruption.
The index assigned scores of between one and 100, where one was perceived to be highly corrupt and 100 being very clean.Rampant corruption in Pakistan has intensified as the country entered into the election year. During this time all the federal and provincial governments were more or less involved in dolling out tens of billions of rupees to their members of parliament (MPs) in the name of development projects to attract a large number of voters in the next elections.
“Governments need to integrate anti-corruption actions into all public decision-making forums. Priorities include better rules on lobbying and political financing, making public spending and contracting more transparent and making public bodies more accountable to people,” said TI Chair of the Board of Directors Huguette Labelle.The report added that a growing outcry over corrupt governments forced out several leaders from office last year, but as the dust gradually cleared, it had become apparent that the levels of bribery, abuse of power and secret dealings were still very high in many countries.
The TICPI 2012 showed that corruption continued to ravage societies around the world. Two thirds of the 176 countries ranked in this year’s index scored below 50, showing that public institutions needed to be more transparent, and powerful officials more accountable.TI Pakistan Chairman Sohail Muzaffar said Pakistan’s CPI rank had fallen by nine positions which was not a good sign.
Even the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) chairman had declared that daily corruption in the country was estimated at Rs 7 billion, which meant that in five years the figure would reach a staggering Rs 12,600 billion.Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) member Asrar Rauf said by collecting Rs 150 billion in January and February, the FBR would whiten Rs 15,000 billion under the new Tax Amnesty Scheme, adding that in the last five years the total FBR collection was approximately Rs 7,500 billion. – PT