KATHMANDU: Nepal has slipped four positions down as compared to last year in the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) made public by Transparency International, in which the least corrupt country is ranked number one. This indicates that corruption in the country is on the rise and hence rampant.

Nepal slipped from last year's 113th position to 117th position this year among 180 countries and territories surveyed by the organisation.

Nepal scored just 33 points on the scale of 0-100, where more the point, lesser the corruption.

New Zealand and Denmark tied for the first position with 88 points in the index while Finland, Switzerland, Singapore, and Sweden tied for the third position with 85 points.

Afghanistan ranked last among the SAARC countries and second last in Asia Pacific countries at 165th position with 19 points while Bhutan ranked first among SAARC nations with 24 global ranking and 68 points.

Likewise, India ranked 86th with a score of 40 points while the Maldives ranked 75th with 43 points, Sri Lanka ranked 94th with 38 points, Pakistan ranked 124th with 31 points, and Bangladesh ranked 146th with 26 points.

Meanwhile, Nepal's northern neighbour China has been placed at 78th position with 42 scores.

Nepal tied with Egypt, Eswatini, Sierra Leone, Ukraine, and Zambia for the 117th rank. Somalia and South Sudan tied for the last position with the worst corruption cases in the globe.

"Covid-19 is not just a health and economic crisis. It's a corruption crisis. And one that we're currently failing to manage," Delia Ferreira Rubio, Chair of Transparency International said in the statement. This year's CPI paints a grim picture of the state of corruption worldwide. While most countries have made little to no progress in tackling corruption in nearly a decade, more than two-thirds of countries score below 50, the CPI 2020 reports.

The analysis by Transparency International indicates that corruption not only undermines the global health response to Covid-19 but contributes to a continuing crisis of democracy.

The report recommended that to fight Covid-19 and curb corruption, it was essential for countries to strengthen oversight institutions, ensure open and transparent contracting, defend democracy, promote civic space and publish relevant data and guarantee access.

Among the Asia Pacific countries, North Korea ranked last with 18 points.