Corruption in Bangladesh

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Corruption in Bangladesh has been a continuing problem. According to all major ranking institutions, Bangladesh routinely finds itself among the most corrupt countries in the world.[1] From 2001 until 2005, Bangladesh was ranked the most corrupt country in the world by Transparency International according to Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI).[2] Although, the status started to improve after 2006, the country is still found at the bottom of the list.[3][4] The latest ranking published in 2015 placed the country at 139th among 168 countries in the world, with a CPI of 25 in 100.[5][6] The public sectors conducted by the Government are the most corrupted sectors of the country.[7] Anti Corruption Commission was formed through an act in 2004, but is considered to be largely ineffective in investigating and preventing corruption.[8][9]

Corruption by sector[edit]

A world map of the 2015 Corruption Perceptions Index by Transparency International

Bribery, rent-seeking and inappropriate use of government funds, excessive lobbying, long time delays in service performance, pilferage, irresponsible conduct from the government officials, bureaucratic intemperance have made public sector departments the most corrupt sectors of Bangladesh.[7][10] Public sectors in Bangladesh include police departments, fire departments, water supply, electricity, gas supply, education, waste disposal, health, transportation, administration etc.[11]

Health sector[edit]

A 2012 Survey by Transparency International Bangladesh showed that 40.2% of the people fell victim to the irregularities and corruptions in public hospitals.[12] Doctors, nurses and other professionals working in government-run public hospitals have long been accused of demanding bribes for services which are supposed to be provided free of cost.[13] The survey also alleged that the recruitment, transfer and promotion process of personnel in this sector is also corrupted.[12] Although the allegations were rejected by the Government Health Ministry.[12] The survey reported that there is lack of regulation from the government in the private health care sector. The medical practitioners in these sector earn money by driving up health care costs and commission agreements with diagnostic centers.[14] According to patients, even in emergency needs, they were unable to access services unless a bribe is paid first.[13]


Companies have been reported to be subjected to expensive and useless license and permit requirements.[1] Business owners do not obey proper safety codes of the buildings and workplaces. As a result, several large accidents occurred and killed hundreds.[15] Politicians are involved in giving contracts to foreign companies by taking bribes or kickbacks in closed-door negotiations.[16][17]

Student politics[edit]

In public universities and colleges the student wings of ruling[18] political parties dominate the campuses and residential halls through crime and violence to gain various unauthorized facilities.[19] They control the residential halls to manage seats in favour of their party members and loyal pupils. They eat and buy for free from restaurants and shops inside their campus.[20] They extort and grab tenders[21] to earn illicit money. They take money from job seekers and put pressure on university administrations to appoint them.[22] In government colleges they take money from freshmen candidates and put pressure on teachers and officials to get acceptance for them.[23][24][25] Some of them often involves in robbery[26] and rape.[27]

Law enforcement agencies[edit]

In 2002, Transparency International Bangladesh revealed that Bangladesh Police is one of the most corrupt public institutions in Bangladesh.[28] In 2013, they again published the same kind of assessment.[29] Asian Human Rights Commission revealed that people of Bangladesh pay more to police than to the government.[30] Police force benefits from political patronage and culture of impunity.[31] Police is involved in blackmailing,[32] extortion,[33] torture,[34] rape,[35] and killing.[36] Law enforcement agencies like Rapid Action Battalion are involved in extrajudicial killing,[37] murder, abduction,[38][39][40] and rampant human rights abuse.[41][42][43]

Road safety[edit]

Traffic is heavy and chaotic in urban areas, specially in big cities.[44][45][46][47] Streets are extremely congested and the usual traffic and safety rules are not applied or obeyed.[48][49][50] Most drivers are untrained, unlicensed and uninsured.[51][52] Over the years, road accidents have risen to a disastrous level.[53][54] Bangladesh Jatri Kalyan Samity, assessed that 8,589 people had died in road accidents across the country in 2014.[55] 5,000 people died in road accidents in 2015.[56] According to World Bank statistics, annual fatality rate from road accidents is found to be 85.6 fatalities per 10,000 vehicles.[57] Chaos in the street is usually caused by reckless driving and jaywalking which leads to fatal accidents.[58][59][60] Police, Ministers, Lawmakers, VIPs have the tendency to break traffic laws by driving on the reverse sides of the roads.[61][62][63]

Effect of corruption[edit]

Economic growth[edit]

GDP growth has not been able to achieve its desired pace. For instance, in 2005, Vietnam had a GDP of USD 57.63 billion and Bangladesh had a GDP of USD 60.27 billion. In 2013, the GDP of Bangladesh has become USD 149.99 billion, whereas the GDP of Vietnam has become USD 171.39 billion.[64][65]

Data from the World Bank shows that the countries like Singapore, Chile, Peru and Vietnam had similar GDPs, around USD 20 billion, around the 1985s. But, with the span of last thirty years all of them surpassed Bangladesh.[64][65]

Monitoring of corruption[edit]

Anti Corruption Commission[edit]

Anti Corruption Commission Bangladesh, often abbreviated ACC, was formed through an act promulgated on 23 February 2004 that came into force on 9 May 2004. The Commission filed two notable cases against former and present prime minister of Bangladesh in 2008. A case was filed against Khaleda Zia regarding graft at the Zia Charitable Trust and Zia Orphanage Trust.[66] Another case was against Sheikh Hasina and eight others for awarding gas exploration and extraction deal to Niko Resources through corruption and abuse of power.[67][68]

The Anti-Corruption Commission of Bangladesh is crippled by the 2013 amendment of the Anti Corruption Commission Act which makes it necessary for the commission to obtain permission from the government to investigate or file any charge against government bureaucrats or politicians.[69] The commission is often criticised for being ineffective and a wastage of resources.[70]

Transparency International Bangladesh[edit]

Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) is an independent, non-government, non-partisan and non-profit organization which is a fully accredited national chapter of Berlin-based Transparency International in Bangladesh. TIB undertakes research and surveys to investigate the magnitude and impact of corruption and suggest necessary moves for establishing a transparent system of governance, politics and business.[71]

CPI of Bangladesh[edit]

The following table is depicting the comparison of Corruption Perceptions Index of various countries in South Asia as rated by Transparency International.[72]

Years Afghanistan Bangladesh Bhutan India Myanmar Nepal Pakistan Sri Lanka
1997 N/A 45(2.75) 58(2.53)
1998 N/A 66(2.9) 71(2.7)
1999 N/A 72 (2.9) 87(2.2)
2000 N/A 69(2.8) N/A
2001 91 (0.4) most corrupt 71(2.7) 79(2.3)
2002 102 (1.2) most corrupt 72(2.7) 77(2.6)
2003 133 (1.3) most corrupt 83(2.8) 92(2.5)
2004 145 (1.5) most corrupt 90(2.8) 129(2.1)
2005 158 (1.7) most corrupt 88(2.9) 144(2.1)
2006 156 (2.0) 8th most corrupt 70(3.3) 142(2.2)
2007 162 (2.0) 7th most corrupt 72(3.5) 138(2.4)
2008 139 (2.4) 84(3.4) 139(2.4)
2009 139 (2.4) 84(3.4) 139(2.4)
2010 134 (2.4) 87(3.3) 143(2.3)
2011 120 (2.7) 95(3.1) 134(2.5)
2012 144 (2.6) 94(3.6) 139(2.7)
2013 136 (2.7) 94(3.6) 127(2.8)
2014 145(2.5) 14th most corrupt 85(3.8) 126(2.9)
2015 166 (11) 2nd most corrupt 138 (25) 13th most corrupt 27(65) 76(38) 147(22) 130(27) 117 (30) 83(37)


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