Opaque political financing, lobbying by corporate interests has caused a rise of corruption in democracies like India and Australia, notes Transparency International.
DAVOS| Released by Transparency International at the WEF 2020, Corruption Perception Index (CPI) ranks 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption according to experts and business people.
According to Transparency Internation, this year’s CPI reveals that a majority of countries are showing little to no improvement.
CPI 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.
The Asia Pacific region has an average of 45, after many consecutive years of an average score of 44, illustrates general stagnation across the Asia Pacific. The region hasn’t witnessed substantial progress in anti-corruption efforts or results
While often seen as an engine of the global economy, in terms of political integrity and governance, the region performs only marginally better than the global average.
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In democracies, such as Australia and India, unfair and opaque political financing and undue influence in decision-making and lobbying by powerful corporate interest groups, resulting in stagnation or decline in control of corruption.
India, with a score of 41, is at the 80th spot. The rank is also shared by China, Benin, Ghana and Morocco.
The top performers 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.
The analysis by experts shows that corruption is more pervasive in countries where big money can flow freely into electoral campaigns and where governments listen only to the voices of wealthy or well-connected individuals.