Saturday, August 27, 2011

Pranab asks MPs to discuss Anna's three key demands

New Delhi, Aug 27 (IANS) Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee Saturday reiterated the government's commitment to bring an 'appropriate' legislation to eradicate corruption in the country. He asked MPs to discuss three key demands on the Lokpal bill raised by Anna Hazare.

He asked the MPs to discuss whether:

- The jurisdiction of the proposed Lokpal should cover all employees of the central government. This is Hazare's key issue asking the government to include lower bureaucracy, which interacts with the common man and often harasses it, within the ambit of an independent and strong anti-graft watchdog

- Lokpal will operate through the institution of the Lokayukta in all states. This is Hazare's second demand.

- Lokpal should have the power to punish all those who violate the 'grievance redressal mechanism' to be put in place.

Hazare in his communications with the government had demanded that parliament pass a resolution agreeing in principle to set up Lokayuktas in states, frame Citizen's Charters for all government departments and include lower bureaucracy in the ambit of Lokpal.

Mukherjee said the 'specific issues' raised by Hazare were important.

'They deserve our serious consideration. In case a consensus emerges at the end of the discussion, the Standing Committee will, in the course of their deliberations, take into account their practicability, implementability and constititutionality,' he said, adding that whatever the house decides should be 'consistent with the principles enshrined within our constitutional framework'.


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