CPI improvement

ACCORDING to Berlin-based corruption watchdog Transparency International (TI), Pakistan’s ranking in the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) 2016 has improved. The country’s score has increased by 2 points from 30 to 32 out of 100. Pakistan’s rank in the CPI 2016 has improved to 61st above most corrupt country in 176 countries from 52nd above most corrupt country in 168 countries in 2015.
It is somewhat encouraging that for the first time since 1996, when the first CPI was published, Pakistan has jumped from the lowest one-third corrupt countries to the middle one-third countries in 2016. Improvement of Pakistan’s ranking by a global institution matters as it comes at a time when there was intense public debate going on about corruption and the need to stem the menace. There are reasons to believe that the situation would improve further in years to come if the national focus remains on the issue and the public opinion forces the policy and decision-makers to take concrete and genuine steps to tackle the problem of corruption. The Government has an added reason to rejoice the TI declaration as it runs against trumpeted claims being made by PTI about corruption by the Government. The TI ranking reveals that the ground situation is different and people are not buying such claims. The fact remains that there has been almost no mega corruption scandal in Pakistan ever since the present Government came into power. This is important as projects worth hundreds of billions of rupees have been initiated by the Government in different sectors. In the past, all such projects were related with massive and proverbial corruption and people were getting frustrated. However, improvement in ranking doesn’t mean all is well as far as corruption is concerned as it is increasingly becoming difficult for ordinary people to get even their genuine and legitimate work done without palm-greasing of relevant officials. We hope both the Government and opposition would shun rhetoric and agree on establishment of transparent mechanism to address the challenge of corruption. Mere proposed change of nomenclature from ‘National Accountability Bureau (NAB)’ to ‘National Accountability Commission (NAC)’ would not solve the problem.

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