PMO attempts to blunt Anna’s protest campaign (Lead)

July 24th, 2012 - 10:35 pm ICT by IANS  

Anna Hazare New Delhi, July 24 (IANS) With Anna Hazare giving an ultimatum for the Jan Lokpal Bill to be brought in parliament this session, the government Tuesday listed some of the steps it has taken to curb corruption.

The Prime Minister’s Office said the government had directed that requests for sanction of prosecution of corrup officials are to be decided upon by the competent authority within three months.

This follows two reports submitted by a Group of Ministers (GoM) the PMO had set up in January 2011.

A PMO statement said in the case of central government officers above the joint secretary rank, the ministers in charge of departments will be the competent authority to approve the initiation of probes.

It said it had accepted the recommendation of the GoM to put in place a regulatory parameter for exercise of discretionary powers by ministers and to put up those regulations in public domain.

The PMO said the Lokpal Bill that had been passed by the Lok Sabha and was pending in the Rajya Sabha.

Hazare and his team have thrashed the government-drafted Lokpal Bill and asked the government to pass the Jan Lokpal bill drafted by it instead.

Among the other initiatives the PMO said had been taken to combat corruption are:

– Lokpal and Lokyuktas Bill, 2011, passed by the Lok Sabha
– Whistle Blowers Protection Bill, 2011, passed by the Lok Sabha but presently with the Rajya Sabha
– UN Convention Against Corruption ratification in May 2011
– Prevention of Bribery of Foreign Public Officials and Officials of Public International Organizations Bill, 2011, introduced in the Lok Sabha
– National e-Governance Plan approved to make all government services accessible to common man
– Public Procurement Bill, 2012, approved by the cabinet to ensure transparency
– Right of Citizens for Time-bound Delivery of Goods and Services and Redressal of their Grievances Bill introduced in Lok Sabha
– Judicial Standards and Accountability Bill, 2012, passed by Lok Sabha.
– National Mission for Justice Delivery and Legal Reforms launched to reduce delays and arrears.

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