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Committed to setting up Lokpal: PM

PM assured the nation that the Lokpal Bill would certainly be enacted

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: January 1, 2012 1:43:34 am

Two days after his government faced severe embarrassment in the Rajya Sabha,Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today assured the nation that the Lokpal Bill would certainly be enacted.

In his New Year message to the country,Manmohan Singh said while new institutions like the Lokpal and Lokayuktas were important in dealing with corruption,these were only a part of the solution.

“We also need reforms in systems of government which would increase transparency and minimise discretion so that the scope of misgovernance is reduced. We have introduced in Parliament a Bill on citizen’s charters which will empower citizens to demand services at appropriate standards from government departments. We have introduced a Bill on judicial accountability…,” he said.

“It is unfortunate that the (Lokpal and Lokayuktas) Bill could not be passed in the Rajya Sabha. However,our government is committed to the enactment of an effective Lokpal,” he added.

“Taken together with the Right to Information Act,the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act and the Right to Education Act,these are legislative legacies that generations of Indians will come to value,appreciate and benefit from,” he said.

The prime minister promised that he will “personally” work towards providing an “honest and more efficient government”,“a more productive economy” and a “more just social and political order” in the New Year.

“The year that has just ended was a very difficult year for the world”,Singh said,citing “political upheavals in many developing countries” and “a revolution of rising expectations fostered by the extraordinary reach of the electronic media and the connectivity provided by new social networking platforms”. These issues kept governments around the world “on their toes”,he said,adding that “we in India have had our share of problems.”

One of the architects of liberalisation initiated in 1991,Singh said that process was aimed at freeing the citizens from the “dead weight” of bureaucracy and corruption. “…Old forms of corruption have vanished,new forms of corruption have emerged which need to be tackled.”

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