Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Nepal News (52)

Are all the world's nations becoming less corrupt?
while public-sector corruption is still a major problem around the world, more countries are improving than worsening. ..... Denmark scored 91, followed by Finland, Sweden, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland, Singapore, and Canada, as the top 10 least corrupt countries ......

Somalia and North Korea continued to rank as the world's most corrupt countries.

.......... 2015 was also a year when people again took to the streets to protest corruption – people across the globe sent a strong signal to those in power: it is time to tackle grand corruption ...... accountability, levels of bribery, unpunished corruption, and whether public institutions respond to citizens’ needs ..... countries that have clean public sectors at home can be linked to international corruption scandals elsewhere. Sweden, for example, ranks third in the index, “yet the Swedish-Finnish firm TeliaSonera – 37 percent owned by the Swedish state – is facing allegations that it paid millions of dollars in bribes to secure business in Uzbekistan, which comes in at 153rd in the index. ....... “the index cannot capture the individual frustration of this reality, but it does capture the informed views of analysts, businesspeople, and experts in countries around the world.” ..... the "scope and extent of corruption evident in, say, the city administration of New York is likely to be altogether different to that which you’ll find in, for example, rural Kansas" ...... “TI doesn’t claim that the CPI measures corruption, but rather perceptions of corruption. While knowing more about how citizens perceive a phenomenon certainly has its uses, it is also plausible that perception and reality might differ considerably. This gulf may well mean that the CPI is actually (and inadvertently) distorting reality, simply reinforcing stereotypes and cliches.”
Bihar fastest growing State: Governor
“rule of law” and communal harmony has paved way for Bihar to become the fastest growing State in the country, registering a growth rate of 17 per cent. ..... Due to sustained efforts, the plan size has increased from Rs 4,000 crore to Rs 57,000 crore in the last 10 years ...... The plan size of Bihar in 2015-16 is of Rs 1.20 lakh crore, he said, adding revenue collection has also soared. ...... The seven resolves comprise a Rs 4 lakh loan credit card for students, a monthly allowance of Rs 1,000 for eight months twice in two years for students to help them search jobs, free Wi-Fi facilities in colleges and universities, among others. ...... Setting up a venture capital of Rs 5,000 crore for young entrepreneurs, toilets in all households, free drinking water connection to every household and free electricity connection to every household are also among the seven resolves.
India projected to be world's fastest growing economy: Singapore
"against the backdrop of somewhat gloomy economic outlook globally, India remains a bright spot." ...... "India is projected to the be world's fastest growing major economy this year. It was the world's top FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) destination in the first half of 2015 with USD 31 billion greenfield investment"
Google expected to reveal growth of offshore cash funds to $43bn
Offshore reserves of $43bn, held largely through Bermuda, represent profits from markets outside the US. Of these markets, the UK is the largest, accounting for 17% of non-US sales. ..... Google’s tax structure means income from many major overseas markets – including £4.56bn from the UK – is booked through Ireland. Much of it is then bounced through the Netherlands and back to Ireland and Bermuda. These strategies are known in tax jargon as the “Double Irish” and the “Dutch Sandwich”. ..... cash controversially held through tax structures offshore because that would trigger a large US tax bill. ..... Google is expected to once again spend less money than it earns this year, boosting the group’s total cash reserves to $90bn by the end of December. Analysts at Credit Suisse said it could end the year closer to $92bn, while analysts Morningstar said the cash figure could grow to $112bn by the end of 2018.
Billions locked in poverty by public sector corruption, report shows
2015 index of perceived corruption, which ranked Somalia as the worst offender, says more than 6 billion people live in countries where corruption is rife
The five countries at the bottom are: Somalia (8); North Korea (8); Afghanistan (11); Sudan (12), and South Sudan (15). ......... there were grounds for optimism as more countries had improved their scores than seen them decline since the previous index. ......

high-scoring countries typically have good levels of press freedom, transparent and accessible budget information, independent and fair judiciaries, and “high levels of integrity among people in power”.

..... The opposite is true for countries at the other end of the scale, which are also often afflicted by conflict, poor governance and prevalent bribery. ...... 53% of G20 countries scored less than 50 ..... “To stamp out the abuse of power, bribery and shed light on secret deals, citizens must together tell their governments they have had enough” ...... 2015 was also a year when people again took to the streets to protest corruption. People across the globe sent a strong signal to those in power: it is time to tackle grand corruption.
Corruption pervades fast-growing economies of China, Turkey and Angola
Transparency International’s measure of perceived public sector corruption says emerging countries increasingly seen as prone to fraud and bribery
China, Turkey and Angola – whose GDPs all grew by more than 4% last year – fell furthest in Transparency International’s 2014 corruption perception index, which measures the perceived levels of public-sector corruption worldwide. Corrupt officials undermine progress and destroy the public’s trust in their government ....... “This is not just pointing a finger at north and south or at developed versus developing. There are some ‘newly emerging’ countries that are towards the top of the list, that are good performers, and you have countries that are outperforming solid economies that [are] part of the G20,” such as

Russia, which ranked 142 in the index, and India, at 87.

....... Bribery linked to major oil contracts was suspected in China and Hong Kong, where leaked documents showed 22,000 offshore clients, including China’s leaders ...... “None of us would fly on planes that do not register passengers, yet we allow secret companies to conceal illegal activity. Public registers that show who really owns a company would make it harder for the corrupt to take off with the spoils of their abuse of power.”

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