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India Falls Two Ranks in Corruption Perceptions Index 2017

New Zealand and Denmark were ranked as the top two least corrupt countries in Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index report.

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India slipped by two places since 2016 in the global Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) 2017, and now ranks 81 in the survey with a score of 40. The country was ranked 79 on this list in 2016, said the report released by anti-corruption organization Transparency International on Feb. 21.

The report highlighted that most nations made little or no progress in ending corruption. “Further analysis shows journalists and activists in corrupt countries risking their lives every day in an effort to speak out,” said the report.

The index ranks 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption according to experts and businesspeople. It uses a scale of 0 to 100, 0 being highly corrupt and 100 being very clean.

In 2017, New Zealand and Denmark rank 1 and 2, respectively with scores of 89 and 88. Syria, South Sudan and Somalia rank lowest with scores of 14, 12 and 9 respectively.

In South Asia, China has done better than India, to be placed at No. 77 with a score of 41, while Pakistan, with a score of 32, is on the 117th spot.

The United States got a score of 75, and occupies the 16th spot on the index.

The best performing region is Western Europe with an average score of 66. The United Kingdom is at the eighth place in the list, with a score of 82, while Germany has scored 81 to rank 12th.

The worst performing region is Sub-Saharan Africa, where the average score is 32, and Eastern Europe and Central Asia, with an average score of 34.

“CPI results correlate not only with the attacks on press freedom and the reduction of space for civil society organizations. In fact, what is at stake is the very essence of democracy and freedom,” Delia Ferreira Rubio, the chair of Transparency International, said.

The index found that more than two-thirds of countries score below 50, with an average score of 43. The organization revealed that further analysis of the results indicated that countries with the least protection for press and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) also tend to have the worst incidence of corruption.

Every week at least one journalist is killed in a country that is highly corrupt. In the last six years, nine out of 10 journalists were killed in countries that score 45 or less on the index, showed the analysis that includes data from the Committee to Protect Journalists.

“No activist or reporter should have to fear for their lives when speaking out against corruption. Given current crackdowns on both civil society and the media worldwide, we need to do more to protect those who speak up,” said Patricia Moreira, the managing director of Transparency International.

The report recommended that governments and businesses must take more steps to encourage free speech, independent media, political dissent and an open and engaged civil society.

Among other recommendations made by the anti-corruption watchdog is that the civil society and governments should promote laws that focus on access to information. “This access helps enhance transparency and accountability while reducing opportunities for corruption,” it added.

It also suggested that governments and businesses should proactively disclose relevant public interest information in open data formats.

Top 12 Least Corrupt Countries in 2017

Country RankScore
New Zealand 
Denmark 
Finland 
Norway 
Switzerland 
Singapore 
Sweden 
Canada 
Luxembourg 
Netherlands 
United Kingdom 
Germany 
1 
2 
3 
3 
3 
6 
6 
8 
8 
8 
8 
12 
89 
88 
85 
85 
85 
84 
84 
82 
82 
82 
82 
81 

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