Just bad

Nepal’s current world ranking on corruption is anything but a cause célèbre for rejoicing. Transparency International’s corruption perception index 2006 (CPI) has placed Nepal in the 121st position out of 163 nations, indicating rampant corruption. Last year, Nepal stood 117th out of 159 nations. Democracy or autocracy, Nepal has been able to make no considerable headway on poverty and corruption fronts over the years. On a scale of 10, which means a corruption-free country, Nepal managed a dismal 2.5, only slightly better than the 1.9 points of Haiti, which is incidentally the world’s most corrupt nation.

Public office in Nepal has become a horrendous source of private gain. Successive governments have only paid lip service to good governance. This is because those at the helm themselves have been, directly or indirectly, a party to the shady dealings. On top of it, there has been no effective mechanism for bringing to book those who indulge in unscrupulous transactions or abuse of authority. The public is fed up with empty promises of a crackdown on corruption, and the anti-corruption watchdog, the CIAA, still leaves much to be desired. The Auditor General’s annual report, too, is nothing more than a ritual, with the legislature and the executive showing no interest in acting on its recommendations. Fighting corruption requires the political will, effective legal instrument, expertise and resources. With a new political situation brought about by the Jana Andolan II, the public has naturally pinned hope on the new political order to take care of this monstrosity.