Kathmandu, December 8:

The world is marking the International Anti-corruption Day tomorrow, the day when countries around the world signed the UN Convention Against Corruption.

However, activists who have been working against corruption here are not satisfied with measures taken by the government to fight graft. “The campaign against corruption is not effective,” said Prakash Osti, an activist working to stem corruption in the country. “The level of corruption has gone up as we lack a proper plan to fight the same,” he added.

“The government is not promoting the drive against corruption — one of the mandates of the April mass movement,” the executive director of Transparency International (TI) Nepal, Ashish Thapa, said. He added that some court verdicts have shown that the judiciary is not working enough to punish the corrupt.

Referring to TI’s Global Corruption Barometer 2006 that was made public yesterday, Thapa accused the government of not taking effective measures to curb corruption. The TI report accused governments around the world of not doing enough to fight corruption. The TI had conducted a poll in 62 countries. “Some court verdicts also show that powerful corrupt people have been exonerated of corruption charges,” Thapa said.

Commissioner in the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA), Beda Prasad Siwakoti, said: “The CIAA has always been working to stem corruption and we hope that the anti-corruption drive in the country will be effective.”

“The state is concentrating on punishing those who have accumulated property sproportionate to their income. However, there are examples of some persons getting away with the act,” Siwakoti added. After the convention, there is a need to promulgate the Money Laundering Act, Mutual Legal Assistance Act and Whistle-blower Protection Act to make the drive more effective.