31 January 2023

Transparency International (TI) released its Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) 2022 on January 31. Compared to 2021, the overall situation in Bangladesh and globally have worsened. Bangladesh has scored 25, the 12th global lowest score and position, and remains second lowest in South Asia, above only Afghanistan.

Over the past decade, Bangladesh has consistently scored an average of 26 on the index, and this year's score of 25 is even lower than the previous four years. The country's performance has been described as disappointing by Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB), as it has again fallen well below the global average score of 43.

South Asia has a worrying trend of corruption, with Bhutan being the best performer in the region with a score of 68 out of 100, which places it 25th in the world. Maldives, India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan all scored lower than the global average of 43.

Transparency International considers countries that score less than 50 to have "serious corruption problems"; globally, 122 countries scored below that threshold. On the other end of the scale, Denmark scored 90, making it the least corrupt nation in the world, while Somalia scored 12, the highest.

Reasons for Bangladesh's poor result

TIB attributes Bangladesh's disappointing score to multiple factors, including a lack of follow-through on the government's zero-tolerance against corruption rhetoric. Other factors, such as loan defaulters, money launderers operating with impunity, and a culture of fear for those who dare to speak out against corruption, including journalists, have also contributed to the perception of corruption in the country.

TIB's Executive Director, Dr. Iftekharuzzaman, warns that if the current situation remains unchanged, Bangladesh could fall behind Afghanistan. He states that corruption is perpetuated by those in political, administrative, and financial power who abuse their positions to accumulate illegal wealth.

CPI 2022 highlights

This year, Transparency International emphasizes that corruption and conflict go hand-in-hand, creating a sense of insecurity among citizens. Not surprisingly, most countries that rank low on the CPI experience extended conflict and social grievances. Corruption often leads to higher levels of organized crime and security threats, particularly in countries that score low on the index. More is available here.