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Last Updated: Tuesday, 18 October 2005, 15:03 GMT 16:03 UK
Bangladesh tops most corrupt list
By Waliur Rahman
BBC News, Dhaka

Wad of dollar bills being counted
Bangladesh has topped the list for the fifth consecutive time
Bangladesh has been ranked as the most corrupt country on earth in the latest list of corrupt nations published by Transparency International.

The Berlin-based anti-corruption watchdog said Bangladesh shares the top spot with the central African country of Chad.

The government has not yet commented on the latest corruption list.

This is the fifth year in a row that Bangladesh has topped the corruption perception index.

Last year, the Caribbean country, Haiti, ranked top with Bangladesh.

The survey relates to perceptions of the degree of corruption in different countries, as seen by business people, academics and risk analysts.

'No real effort'

Corruption is widespread in Bangladesh and is a hot political and controversial issue and feuding political parties often charge each other with being corrupt.

5 most corrupt states:
5 least corrupt states:
New Zealand
Source: Transparency International

Officials at the Bangladesh chapter of Transparency International say they have seen no real effort over the years to root out corruption.

Previous surveys by the Transparency's local researchers found police, revenue and land departments to be the most corrupt among the country's public institutions.

This list is quite controversial in Bangladesh and government ministers have dismissed the index in the past on the grounds that perceptions do not necessarily mean that it is true.

Bangladesh's prime minister Begum Khaleda Zia
The PM insists corruption has come down

In a televised address last week, Bangladesh's Prime Minister Khaleda Zia rejected criticism from opposition parties that her government did nothing to deal with the problem.

Mrs Zia said her administration has taken some bold measures to root out the problem during her four-year rule, including the formation of an independent Anti-Corruption Commission.

She also said the level of corruption had come down, but progress was not so visible because of a media campaign and deliberate rumours.

The government insists that the commission is still new and will play a strong role in curbing corruption once the body develops with time.

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