ISLAMABAD - Transparency International (TI) ranked Pakistan as the 46th most corrupt country out of 180 on the globe, fearing continuous high corruption in low-income countries may amount to an "ongoing humanitarian disaster". Similarly, India has been ranked as the 22nd most corrupt nation in the world, while corruption in Bangladesh has increased despite an anti-graft drive launched by the country's army-backed government. In low-income countries, rampant corruption jeopardizes the global fight against poverty, threatening to derail the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), states TI 2008 Corruption Perception Index (CPI) released here on Tuesday from its headquarters in Berlin, Germany and Pakistan. Pakistan in 2008 Corruption Perceptions Index Score is 2.5. Out of 180 countries, it is ranked as the 46th most corrupt country in the world, the report said. With countries such as Somalia and Iraq among those showing the highest levels of perceived corruption, Transparency International's (TI) 2008 CPI highlighted the fatal link between poverty, failed institutions and graft. But other notable backsliders in the 2008 CPI indicate that the strength of oversight mechanisms is also at risk among the wealthiest. "In the poorest countries, corruption levels can mean the difference between life and death, when money for hospitals or clean water is in play," said Huguette Labelle, Chair of Transparency International. "The continuing high levels of corruption and poverty plaguing many of the world's societies amount to an ongoing humanitarian disaster and cannot be tolerated. But even in more privileged countries, with enforcement disturbingly uneven, a tougher approach to tackling corruption is needed." According to the TI 2008 CPI results, the Transparency International CPI measures the perceived levels of public-sector corruption in a given country and is a composite index, drawing on different expert and business surveys. The 2008 CPI scores 180 countries (the same number as the 2007 CPI) on a scale from zero (highly corrupt) to ten (highly clean). Denmark, New Zealand and Sweden share the highest score at 9.3, followed immediately by Singapore at 9.2. Bringing up the rear is Somalia at 1.0, slightly trailing Iraq and Myanmar at 1.3 and Haiti at 1.4. While score changes in the Index are not rapid, statistically significant changes are evident in certain countries from the high to the low end of the CPI. Looking at source surveys included in both the 2007 and 2008 Index, significant declines can be seen in the scores of Bulgaria, Burundi, Maldives, Norway and the United Kingdom. Similarly, statistically significant improvements over the last year can be identified in Albania, Cyprus, Georgia, Mauritius, Nigeria, Oman, Qatar, South Korea, Tonga and Turkey. "Stemming corruption requires strong oversight through parliaments, law enforcement, independent media and a vibrant civil society," said Labelle. "When these institutions are weak, corruption spirals out of control with horrendous consequences for ordinary people, and for justice and equality in societies more broadly." According to TI's 2008 Global Corruption Report, unchecked levels of corruption would add US $50 billion (35 billion) - or nearly half of annual global aid outlays - to the cost of achieving the MDG on water and sanitation. This is the message that TI will be sending to the member states of the UN General Assembly as they prepare to take stock on progress in reaching the MDGs on 25 September, and ahead of the UN conference on Financing for Development, in Doha, Qatar, where commitments on funding aid will be taken. Syed Adil Gilani, Chairman TI Pakistan said that Pakistan needed sincere efforts to apply rules and regulations across the board, to achieve the goal of reducing corruption, comparative look on Pakistan and India CPI of last 10 years indicates that lower the corruption, better is the economy. In 1998 Pakistan and India in CPI ranked as 71 and 66 respectively out of 85 countries surveyed, with score of 2.7 and 2.9, and in 2008 Pakistan and India are ranked 134 and 85 out of 180 countries, with score of 2.5 and 3.6. The difference in corruption ranking between the two countries has increased from 5 in 1998 to 49 in 2008. The present economic status of the two countries confirms that the economic growth is inversely proportional to corruption. In 1998 Pakistan and India FE reserves were US$ 1.60 billion and US $ 26 billion, and in 2008 they are US $ 9.10 billion and US $ 237 billion. In last ten years the gap in India and Pakistan FE reserves increased, from 16 times in 1998 to 26 times in 2008. In 1998 Pakistan trade deficit was US $ 3.20 billion, whereas in only first two months of July-August 2008, trade deficit is US $ 3.52 billion. Syed Adil Gilani said that Pakistan ratified the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) on August 9, 2007, which requires Pakistan to establish and promote effective practices aimed at the prevention of corruption, periodically evaluate relevant legal instruments and administrative measures with a view to determining their adequacy to prevent and fight corruption. Pakistan has not initiated any reform to ease out regulatory burden of doing business during the last one year, as declared by the World Bank in its report 'Doing Business 2009' where the country scored 77 among 181 world nations. In 2005 Pakistan scored 10 among 180 countries. Pakistan needs immediate enforcement of good governance and transparent administration to counter the acute problems, like increase in terrorism, hyper inflation, reduction in KSE 100 index by 36%, from 14,500 on 2nd Nov 2007, to 9346 on 5th September 2008, 20% devaluation in currency, US $ increases from Rs 64 to Rs 77, and reduction of Foreign Currency reserves from US $16.6 billion to US $ 9.10 billion inherited due to the bad governance of last 10 years. In the Executive Summary in the assessment of the Pakistan Infrastructure Implementation Capacity (PIICA) which was carried out at the request of the GoP, jointly by World Bank and Planning Commission of Pakistan and report released on 8th Feb. 2008, it has been confirmed that about 15 % of Pakistan Development Budget of 2007-8 is the cost of corruption in procurement alone. This amounts to over Rs 150 billion. Political will, judicial independence and effective non-discriminatory accountability mechanism for those civil/defence departments not complying with the procedures including privatization, and Public Procurement Rules 2004, as well as the public corporations and authorities, are urgently needed to successfully combat corruption which is defined as "Misuse of Authority for personal gain".