Information Minister Hasan Mahmud has rejected Bangladesh's ranking in the Transparency International's (TI) Corruption Perception Index (CPI) 2020.
Responding to a question on Friday, he said Bangladesh's position in CPI below Pakistan is not credible in any way.
"TI also looks after the interests of its fund providers like other NGOs. Not even the lunatics will believe that Bangladesh is more corrupt than Pakistan," he told reporters at his official residence in Dhaka.
He said he saw the TI report which showed Bangladesh maintaining the same position as last year but according to them, the country fell two notches.
"It's unclear whether Bangladesh's position degraded or it was an outcome of their faulty process," he said, noting that faults in TI's system are well-known.
Bangladesh appeared as the second-worst among South Asian countries in curbing corruption after Afghanistan, according to the CPI 2020, an index published annually by TI since 1995.
It ranks countries "by their perceived levels of public sector corruption, as determined by expert assessments and opinion surveys". The CPI generally defines corruption as "the misuse of public power for private benefit".
Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) Executive Director Dr Iftekharuzzaman unveiled the CPI 2020 in a virtual programme on Thursday.
In 2020, Bangladesh secured 26 points under 1-100 scale like previous two years which is still very worrying, Iftekharuzzaman said.
Bangladesh is at 12th place in 2020, two steps lower than the previous year in the rank counting from the bottom among 180 countries, he said, adding that Uzbekistan and Central African Republic are also sharing the same spot with Bangladesh.
TIB Executive Director said with its overall performance, Bangladesh's position is "disappointing" in the index than the previous year.
"Bangladesh could have scored far better if it could go beyond the fear and implement the Prime Minister's policy of zero tolerance against corruption," he said.