FE report::Almost 75 per cent Bangladeshi citizens think government corruption is a big problem in their lives, according to ‘Global Corruption Barometer: Asia 2020’.
It reveals that 24 per cent people paid a bribe for public services in the past 12 months, nine per cent faced or knew about extortion and 22 per cent used personal connections for public services during the period.
The corruption barometer report, published recently by Transparency International, covered 17 countries where “corruption remains one of the key challenges”, despite vast socio-economic and political differences.
“Although reporting cases of corruption is critical to curbing the spread, a majority of citizens (54 per cent) think that if they report corruption, they will suffer retaliation,” the new report observed.
In Bangladesh, it said, 63 per cent people “are particularly concerned about retaliation”. Such fear is reportedly prevailing among 63 per cent Indians and 69 per cent South Koreans.
Bangladesh stood 146th among 180 nations in TI’s Corruption Index 2019.
Surprisingly, according to the barometer report, while most citizens consider corruption a big problem in their countries, they still voice positive support for the actions taken so far by their governments.
In Bangladesh, it added, 87 per cent of the people surveyed said the government is doing well in tackling corruption.
The report found that Myanmar has the highest percentage of citizens who think that the government is doing well in tackling corruption (93 per cent). Such rate is 85 per cent in the Philippines.
“This contradiction may be a sign of recent progress of some governments or a reluctance from citizens living in authoritarian regimes to blame the government,” the report explained.
When contacted by a Bangla newspaper, TI Bangladesh chapter’s Executive Director Iftekharuzzaman said the barometer report reflected the actual state of corruption in the country.
It also showed that a higher percentage (47 per cent) of Bangladeshis say corruption decreased in the past 12 months while 40 per cent think corruption increased and 11 per cent believe it remains static during the period.
According to the report, asked if ordinary people could make a difference in the fight against corruption, 82 per cent responded positively and only 13 per cent negatively.