India ranks 70 on most corrupt list
LONDON, NOV 6 (UNI) — India has shown significant improvement in the perceived levels of corruption in public life moving to 70 from the 88th position last year on the list of most corrupt nations, according to a transparency international survey.
The 2006 corruption perceptions index (CPI), which was launched today, ranked violence-torn Iraq and impoverished Haiti, Myanmar and guinea as the most corrupt countries in the world.
United States was listed among the countries where corruption scenario worsened further, along with Brazil, Cuba, Israel, Jordan, Laos, Seychelles, Tunisia, Trinidad and Tobago and Tunisia.
Countries with a significant improvement in perceived levels of corruption include: Algeria, Czech Republic, India, Japan, Latvia, Lebanon, Mauritius, Paraguay, Slovenia, Turkey, Turkmenistan and Uruguay.
Finland, Iceland and New Zealand shared the honour of keeping the menace well under control.
Early half of the 163 countries ranked in the list still suffer from rampant corruption, the report by the Berlin-based watchdog group said. It said there is a strong correlation between corruption and poverty, with a concentration of impoverished countries at the bottom of the ranking.
The weak performance of many countries indicates that the facilitators of corruption continue to assist political elites to launder, store and otherwise profit from unjustly acquired wealth, which often includes looted state assets, the CPI observed.
Professionals like bankers, accountants, lawyers act as facilitators or intermediaries who help them generate, move or store their illicit income, it said.
‘’Corruption traps millions in poverty,’’ the agency’s international Chairman Huguette Labelle said in a statement.
‘’Despite a decade of progress in establishing anti-corruption laws and regulations, today’s results indicate that much remains to be done.’’
The CPI calls for a pro-active role to be played by lawyers, accountants and bankers who ‘’often act as intermediaries between a giver (the supply side) and a taker (the demand side)’’.
It called for stringent measures to curb the criminalisation of overseas bribery under the OECD anti-bribery convention, disclosure of assets by public officials and adoption of codes of conduct.
In the survey, countries were ranked on a scale of 10, anything below five indicates serious perceived levels of corruption, and anything below 3 rampant.
India mustered 3.1 while china 3.0
Finland, Iceland and New Zealand tied for the first place with 9.6. Britain was 11th with an 8.6 rating, Germany 16th at 8.0 and the United States 20th with 7.3 while Russia was ranked 121 with 2.5.
At the rock bottom was Haiti with 1.8. Guinea, Iraq and Myanmar tied in penultimate position with 1.9.
The weak performance of many countries indicates that the facilitators of corruption continue to assist political elites to launder, store and otherwise profit from unjustly acquired wealth, which often includes looted state assets. The presence of willing intermediaries – who are often trained in or who operate from leading economies — encourages corruption; it means the corrupt know there will be a banker, accountant, lawyer or other specialist ready to help them generate, move or store their illicit income.
Kenya’s Anglo-Leasing and related scandals presents a case in point, where the misappropriation of public funds was enabled through fraudulent contracts using sophisticated shell companies and bank accounts in European and off-shore jurisdictions, according to John Githongo, Kenya’s former anti-corruption tsar. And according to TI Kenya’s Kenya Bribery Index, bribery costs Kenyans about US $1 billion each year, yet more than half live on less than US $2 per day.
Acts of corruption involve a giver (the supply side) and a taker (the demand side). TI advocates strong measures to curb bribery’s supply side, including the criminalisation of overseas bribery under the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention, as well as its demand side, including disclosure of assets for public officials and adoption of codes of conduct.
Transparency International recommends:
Promotion and, where necessary, adoption of corruption-specific codes of conduct by professional associations for their members, for instance the International Bar Association, International Compliance Association, and professional associations for accountants,
Public education to ensure that honest intermediaries better understand their role;
Legal or professional sanctions for legal, financial and accounting professionals that enable corruption;
Greater scrutiny of the role of insufficiently transparent financial centres in facilitating corrupt transactions.
Another TI study published last month, found that firms from China and India were most willing to pay bribes abroad to do business.
French and Italian firms were named as the worst culprits for paying bribes in low-income countries.