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CPI report: Denmark least corrupt country, India ranks at 76

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New Delhi/Mumbai: The rankings of Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) 2015 are out. The report upped India from 85th to 76th position. However, this good news is just an unfavourable one in disguise since there were 168 countries in 2015 survey as compared to 174 in 2014.

This means that India’s score for 2015 in CPI remains unchanged. Despite major changes in both the Central and State governments, mainly due to public hue and cry against governmental frauds and bribery, corruption remains unchanged in the public sector.

CPI measures noted levels of worldwide public sector corruption. It is conducted on the basis of an expert opinion from around the world and measures on a scale of 0-100; higher the score point, lower the corruption in that country.

Observing the rankings of Southeast Asian countries, Bhutan ranked at 27 is seen scoring better than India at 65 points. Other neighboring countries, including China at rank 83 and Bangladesh at 139, have shown no signs of improvement. Scores of Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Nepal have increased marginally over the past year.

The CPI report blames shortfall of bold promises by leaders of India and Sri Lanka as one of the main reasons for prevalent corruption there. About governments in Bangladesh and Cambodia, the report claims downfall of civil society by them resulted in the worsening of corruption.

Srirak Plipat, director for Asia Pacific, Transparency International, in an email briefing to reporters said, “India has been flooded with anti-corruption promises especially in the last few years – from the general election in May 2014 to the recent Delhi election in February 2015. The CPI scores, staying firm well below 50 at 38 out of 100 for both 2014 and 2015, show that there has been no improvement. The rhetoric has yet to become action. This year’s CPI sends a message to people of India, as much as to the government. It invites people of India to question their governments and hold them to account for their election promises. If leadership is about delivery in an imperfect environment, this leadership is questionable, to say the least. The Modi government has set a new trend in Asia Pacific: fast and big in anti-corruption promises, while slow and small in delivery.”

The report further declares the failure of China’s prosecutorial approach as the reason behind the absence of a substantial remedy to their situation; while Pakistan’s failure to tackle corruption lies in giving the wind to their ongoing vicious conflicts.

Looking at CPI’s global stature, Denmark, acquiring 91 points, stands as the least corrupt country for the second year in a row now. The position retained is the result of many factors such as high levels of press freedom and integrity among people in power, a full disclosure of nation’s budget information and money flow to the public, revealed a press release by Transparency International. It further told that judiciaries don’t differentiate between rich and poor, and are truly independent of other parts of the government.

Next in line are Finland and Sweden with scores of 90 and 89 points respectively.

North Korea and Somalia are at the bottom with just eight points each. The release adds that Brazil fell 5 points and dropped 7 positions to a rank of 76, becoming the biggest decliner. The big decliners in the past four years include Libya, Australia, Brazil, Spain and Turkey.

Lack of punishment for corruption, public institution’s indifferent behaviour towards citizens’ needs and widespread bribery are the major factors resulting in a poor CPI score.

Other big shifts in the CPI ranking include entry of Netherlands in top five clean countries. Switzerland tumbled to the 7th position from 5th in 2014. Other big improvers include Greece, Senegal and UK.

In the end, the report estimated that around 68 percent of countries face acute corruption problem, globally. Moreover, half of the G20 are among them. (Inputs from Agencies) (picture courtesy: spring96.org)

Next Story

Trade War Between Washington and Beijing Effecting Farmers

Roger Lande says sometimes China does things “we don’t like,” but all relationships, with family, friends and business associates, have ups and downs.

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China, USA, Trade War
U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping participate in a welcome ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China. VOA

The trade war between Washington and Beijing is hurting farmers who grow huge amounts of soybeans in Iowa for export to the massive Chinese market.

Farmers in Iowa hope that the strong commercial and close personal relationships that China and the U.S. farm state have nurtured for many years will help the two sides overcome complications like the record U.S. trade deficit with China.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has visited Iowa farmers repeatedly over the past couple of decades and former Iowa governor Terry Branstad is now the U.S. ambassador to Beijing.

The close ties have been strained by Washington’s allegations that China unfairly manipulates markets, steals American intellectual property, and creates bureaucratic obstacles to trade. China also accuses the United States of unfair practices.

FILE - Justin Roth holds a handful of soybeans at the Brooklyn Elevator in Brooklyn, Iowa, Nov. 21, 2018.
– Justin Roth holds a handful of soybeans at the Brooklyn Elevator in Brooklyn, Iowa, Nov. 21, 2018. (voa0

Tariff war

The United States imposed tariffs on Chinese exports, and Beijing retaliated with tariffs on American agricultural products.

That meant that Iowa soybeans were more expensive and less competitive on global markets.

Demand for U.S. soybeans — and prices paid to U.S. farmers — plunged $85 a metric ton.

An Iowa farmer who manages several farms, including 153 hectares of soybeans, says his profits fell 100 percent for 2018. David Miller is not happy to lose money but says without the tariffs, China would not pay any attention to the talks.

FILE - farmer Michael Petefish walks through his soybeans at his farm near Claremont in southern Minnesota.
– farmer Michael Petefish walks through his soybeans at his farm near Claremont in southern Minnesota.(VOA0

Needing each other

China really needs what Iowa produces, according to Grant Kimberley, the marketing manager for the Iowa Soybean Association, who has been to China more than 20 times.

“China needs soybeans … because their middle class has grown, and that means they are eating more protein in their diet, more meat, and if you have more meat production, you have to have more soybeans to feed those animals,” he said.

Kimberley’s family runs a 600 hectare farm, 48 kilometers from Des Moines, which was one of the places visited by Xi, who saw that it uses more advanced equipment and technology than is available to Chinese farmers.

The former director of Iowa’s department of natural resources, Roger Lande, and his wife, Sarah, have twice hosted Xi, at their home in the small town of Muscatine.

Also Read: Amidst Weakened Domestic Demand, China Expected To Report Slow Economic Growth

Roger Lande says sometimes China does things “we don’t like,” but all relationships, with family, friends and business associates, have ups and downs.

Kimberley is optimistic things will work out.

“Because that’s a long-standing relationship that’s been in place for 35 years,” he said. And “I think the overall underlying support and the people that are involved between the states and the province is still strong. And, and everybody recognizes that, over the long term, eventually this will get resolved,” he added. (VOA)