24 March 2013. The anti-corruption Lokpal bill will be taken up for discussion in parliament next month after the ongoing one-month recess of the budget session. There Union Minister Narayanasamy said this today. The bill had been passed in the Lok Sabha, and then it went to Rajya Sabha and from there are to a select committee. The government has done a lot of work on this bill said Narayanasamy, who is the Union Minister of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions. He said that it was wrong to say that it was Anna Hazare who initiated the Lokpal bill. The governments for the past 30 years have been trying to pass this bill. The bill could not be passed in the past because of lack of unanimity. In answer to a question, Narayanasamy said that the bill will check corruption at all levels of service delivery. All categories of the employees will come under the jurisdiction of the Central Vigilance Commission which can recommend action to the Lokpal.
The government is proposing to amend the Indian Penal Code (IPC) so that action can be taken against bribe givers in the private sector. So far the law only acted against the bribe taker. He noted that the Right To Information (RTI) act has put immense amount of information in the hands of the public. So far the government had dealt with 700,000 applications under the RTI. He added that the e-governance is being pushed to have paperless offices.
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal continued his indefinite hunger strike against ‘inflated’ power and water bills in Delhi for the second day on Sunday. He said that the increase in the price of water and electricity was due to a corruption and he claimed that the Congress led government was working hand in glove with the electricity and water companies.
Union Petroleum Minister Veerappa Moily faces corruption charges that a family owned trust was paid donations by a business house when he was union minister for corporate affairs. These corruption charges have surfaced at a time when Karnataka state assembly elections have just been announced.