Nepal improves in annual global corruption ranking, but remains alongside countries with significant corruptionWith a score of 34, Transparency International ranks Nepal 113th, 11 spots higher, compared to last year.
Nepal has improved its ranking in the global corruption perceptions index, but despite climbing a few spots, it continues to remain alongside countries with significant corruption, Transparency International said on Thursday.
Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index 2019 has ranked Nepal 113th, 11 spots up compared to 2018, with a score of 34. In 2018, Nepal’s score was 31.
In South Asia, Nepal is behind India (80th) and Sri Lanka (93rd), but is ahead of Pakistan (120th), Maldives (130th), Bangladesh (146th) and Afghanistan (173rd).
The index ranks 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption, according to experts and business people. It uses a scale of zero to 100, where zero is highly corrupt and 100 is very clean.
In a press statement, Transparency International Nepal said though Nepal has improved ranking in the corruption perceptions index, it failed to make any progress on long-term issues as the government could not implement its commitment of zero tolerance against corruption.
Corruption in public and business sectors and abuse of authority continued while citizens lacked access to information, according to the statement. “There was a lack of seriousness from the political side, while information remained in the grip of only a specific group of people,” it said. “Because of this, despite climbing few spots in the 2019 index, Nepal has remained alongside nations with significant corruption.”
The report said that Nepal’s ranking improved due to the work carried out in various sectors to curb corruption including—action by anti-corruption agencies against public office holders who abused authority, works of the judiciary, decisions on tax collection, integrity of the state security agencies, especially of the Nepal Army and civil organisations’ role in the issues of public interest.
In order to curb corruption in Nepal, Transparency International has recommended the government to promote separation of powers, unveil unbiased budget and service access to stakeholders, decrease the impact of money in politics and address conflict of interest.
Meaningful access to stakeholders in the decision-making process, ending malpractices in the election process and empowering citizens, social campaigners and journalists are also some of the recommendations.
The top countries in the Transparency International CPI are New Zealand and Denmark, with scores of 87 each, followed by Finland (86), Singapore (85), Sweden (85) and Switzerland (85). The bottom countries are Somalia, South Sudan and Syria with scores of 9, 12 and 13, respectively.
The report shows that last year, the Asia-Pacific regional average was 45, after many consecutive years of an average score of 44.
Despite the presence of high performers like New Zealand (87), Singapore (85), Australia (77), Hong Kong (76) and Japan (73), the Asia-Pacific region hasn’t witnessed any substantial progress in anti-corruption efforts or results.
In addition, low performers like Afghanistan (16), North Korea (17) and Cambodia (20) continue to highlight serious challenges in the region, said the report.
Nepal's ranking and score over the years