ISLAMABAD - Pakistan was on Thursday ranked 120 out of 180 countries on the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) 2019, according to a report released by Transparency International (TI).

It said that Pakistan could manage to score only 32 points and was ranked at the 120th spot among 180 countries, sitting alongside Niger and Moldova on the index. Pakistan witnessed a drop in ranking by three places (117th in 2018) and also scored a point lower, as compared to 33 points scored in 2018.

CPI is the leading global indicator of public sector corruption. It scores and ranks countries based on how corrupt their public sector is perceived to be by experts and business leaders.

The top countries 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. These countries are closely followed by Yemen (15), Venezuela (16), Sudan (16), Equatorial Guinea (16) and Afghanistan (16).

TI report says Pakistan ranked at 120th spot among 180 states as against 117th position in 2018

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. More than two-thirds of countries score below 50 on this year’s CPI, with an average score of just 43. Similar to previous years, the data shows that despite some progress, a majority of countries are still failing to tackle public sector corruption effectively.

In the last eight years, only 22 countries significantly improved their CPI scores, including Greece, Guyana and Estonia. In the same period, 21 countries significantly decreased their scores, including Canada, Australia and Nicaragua. In the remaining 137 countries, the levels of corruption show little to no change. This year, Western Europe and the EU is the highest scoring region with an average of 66/100, while Sub-Saharan Africa is the lowest scoring region with 32 points. Both regions have kept an unchanged average since last year.

The report said, this year’s results paint a discouraging picture of the state of corruption worldwide. Since 2012, only 22 countries have significantly improved their score while 21 have significantly declined. The remaining countries have made little or no progress in the fight against corruption.

TIP Chairman Pakistan Sohail Muzaffar said that the National Accountability Bureau under its present chairman has performed much better, and NAB was rejuvenated after it took various initiatives, including adopting the combined investigation team (CIT) system, in order to have collective wisdom in the conduct of inquiries or investigations on merit.

He said NAB has collected Rs153 billion from corrupt elements and filed 530 references and its overall conviction ratio in the accountability courts is about 70 per cent, the statement noted.

Meanwhile,

While commenting on the Transparency International’s report on Pakistan,

The Public Accounts Committee has criticised the progress of the government and its claims regarding the corruption-free Pakistan.

The PAC which met under the chairmanship of PML-N senior leader Rana Tanvir in the Parliament House showed its reservations over the progress of the incumbent government regarding the elimination of corruption.

The member of the committee Khawaja Asif said that after a period of almost ten years the TI has pointed out that the corruption had increased in Pakistan.

He further claimed that trillions of rupees were embezzled; saying that the people around the world were making fun of looking into this high amount of corruption in Pakistan.

Meanwhile, talking about the recovery of money by the PAC JUI-F leader Shahida Akhtar Ali said that  PAC had recovered a much higher amount of money than NAB; adding that there progress was much better than NAB.