According to the Transparency International, Pakistan has made a slight improvement in the ‘Corruption Perceptions Index 2018’ with a score of 33 though its overall ranking among 180 states has remained unrest. Statistics also showed that Pakistan with a score of 32 on a scale of zero (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean) had ranked 117 out of 180 states in 2018. According to the Transparency International, the country’s ranking showed considerable improvement during the 5-year term of the last government as it jumped 10 positions from 127 to 117. But the ranking has failed to enhance since 2016.
Economists revealed that the country has a large population and only 35 percent is urbanized, which would rise to 50 percent by 2020. Unlike various other states, the market has not saturated yet, particularly for consumer goods and services firms, which offer opportunities. They have also recorded that the challenges which would hinder new investment. Unstructured strategies are the among the biggest challenges facing not only every sector of the economy but foreign investors as well. For instance, investors come in the country, not Sindh or Punjab. There is a lack of coordination between provinces and the federal government. The experts also urged that the country had to act seriously to control rampant corruption.
Economy of Pakistan could not enhance till this menace was tackled, as foreign businesses checked the ease of doing business before making investment in Pakistan. Furthermore, Pakistan’s rank in the WB index used to be in the 70s, now it is in 130s. The country has also the world’s fourth largest IT workforce, but it is mostly engaged in basic software development jobs. The country needs policies that ensure skill development. According to the “Tackling Corruption in Government” greater more than 180 states and finds that more corrupt countries collect fewer taxes, as people pay bribes to avoid them, counting by tax loopholes planned in exchange for kickbacks. It is also revealed that when taxpayers believe their governments are corrupt, they are more probable to evade paying taxes.
Furthermore, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) also revealed present performance-related incentives that Pakistan offered to its tax officials, which had both desirable and undesirable results. While performance-based salaries of tax officials in Pakistan, led to a significant rise in tax collection, bribe requests raised by 30 percent. The IMF shows that overall; the least corrupt governments collect 4 percent of GDP more in tax revenues than countries at the same level of economic development with the highest levels of corruption.
Transparency International Pakistan said anti-corruption laws should be strengthened, empowering accountability agencies to easily prosecute the corrupt. The exemplary punishments be given to all those involved in corruption. No doubt, the Government of Pakistan has been facing multiple challenges since many years like: terrorism, political unrest, sectarianism, poverty, overpopulation, illiteracy and unemployment. Yet, the most serious is corruption. As there are many factors that contribute to the proliferation of corruption in the country. These include the lack of education, weak institutions, and a dishonest leadership and political system. There are multiple solutions, though, if they were sincerely applied. First, educate citizens so that they are well aware of their rights and duties towards the state. It is only the people who can play an effective play role in curbing corruption. Then, there should be strict principles against those involved in corruption. Finally, institutions should be strengthened and made independent of any political influence.