India showed marginal improvement on the Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index for 2016. The country scored 40 compared to its 2015 score of 38 on a scale where zero indicates high level of corruption and 100, a transparent government. In terms of rankings, however, India slipped three positions to 79 and was rated lower than all its neighbours besides Bhutan. Pakistan was ranked at 116.

“India’s ongoing poor performance reiterates the state’s inability to effectively deal with petty corruption as well as large-scale corruption scandals,” Transparency International said in its report. “The impact of corruption on poverty, illiteracy and police brutality shows that not only the economy is growing – but also inequality.”

The Berlin-based organisation rated 176 countries based on information provided by the World Bank, World Economic Forum and other institutions. New Zealand and Denmark were deemed the least corrupt nations with a score of 90. India shares its 2016 score with China and Brazil, among 10 key economies.

Somalia was rated the most corrupt country, while Syria, South Sudan, North Korea, Afghanistan and Iraq also fared badly. Over two-thirds of the countries rated were ranked below the midpoint of the index, with no nation near a perfect score. Of the 30 countries in the Asia-Pacific region, 19 scored 40 or less out of 100.

“The lower-ranked countries in our index are plagued by untrustworthy and badly functioning public institutions like the police and judiciary. Even where anti-corruption laws are on the books, in practice they’re often skirted or ignored,” the report said.

On November 8, 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had launched a demonetisation drive, which he said would crackdown on corruption and the use of black money in the country.