GOVERNMENT TO FOCUS ON ANTI-GRAFT LAWS IN WINTER SESSION

NEW DELHI (TIP): Apart from the GST bill, the most ambitious tax reform law, the Narendra Modi government is set to push three other crucial legislations to check corruption during the winter session of Parliament beginning on November 26.

Whistleblowers’ Protection Act, Amendment in Prevention of Corruption Act and Lokpal are on the top of the government’s business.

Union minister of state for personnel Jitendra Singh on Thursday said while the Lokpal Bill is pending with the select committee, the government had consecutively listed the bill for amendment in Prevention of Corruption Act for seven days in Rajya Sabha during the last session which was a virtual washout.

“I will not go into the reasons of it but what I am trying to say is that we have not lagged behind. We have nothing to hide…and we will pursue these bills in the coming session on November 26,” Singh said.

The MoS said while fighting corruption, the government intends that it should not cause “unwarranted intimidation” of officials.

He said through amendment in PC Act, the government wants to introduce safeguards for officials at all levels. “We will act but act judiciously,” he said.

Speaking at the valedictory function of 21st annual conference of CBI and Anti-Corruption Bureaux here at Vigyan Bhawan, Singh said the government aims to complete the Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and System (CCTNS) by March 2017. It was initiated in 2009 but didn’t make much headway during the last six years.

“What had not happened in last six years, the government had resolved to do it in one and a half years,” he said.

He said the government is committed to maintain independence and autonomy of CBI to ensure that an environment can be provided to the agency where it can work with its full potential. “We are here as facilitators of the professionals not intimidators of the professionals,” he said.

Later, speaking to mediapersons on the sidelines of the functions, he said, “We expect the select committee to furnish its reports as soon as possible so that we can move ahead with the Lokpal Bill.”

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