10:03 am - Wednesday November 4, 2015

India among ‘most corrupt’ countries in South Asia region

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South Asia is the worst region in the world when it comes to corruption, a new report has found.

Transparency International found serious problems with anti-corruption efforts in Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

The watchdog added that the governments of these countries must strengthen their anti-graft agencies to prevent political interference and protect whistleblowers.

According to Dawn News, the group said that all six countries have public bodies charged with stopping corruption, but ‘their hands are tied by political control over the staff appointments and budget’.

The report from the group added that ‘there was also lack of political will on the part of the governments to make laws work.

The group urged the governments of the six countries to strengthen their anti-corruption agencies and judiciary.

It said India has been making attempts to dilute its right to information law, which currently is one of the strongest in the world.

Srirak Plipat, the group’s regional director for Asia Pacific, said Transparency International will monitor India’s newly elected government to see if it follows its promise of cleaning up graft.

He said the Indian government should implement an Ombudsman Act that was passed by Parliament last year and also push other anti-corruption bills, including amending whistleblower laws to protect people in the private sector, the report added.

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