The task of ensuring transparency and evolving a mechanism to check corrupt practices had acquired urgency like never before, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on Friday while stressing that the Lokpal Bill was at the top of his government's agenda.
The prime minister, addressing the biennial conference of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and state anti-corruption bureaus, added that the government welcomes inputs from civil society and NGOs on how to fight corruption.
"We are on cusp of far reaching changes in fighting corruption. The agitation launched by Anna Hazare has made fighting corruption top agenda. Lokpal is at the top of government's agenda."
In the backdrop of the government's plan to review RTI, inviting criticism from civil society, the prime minister said public authorities should voluntarily provide as much as information as possible to RTI applicants.
"The RTI is a potent tool to ensure transparency and accountability in public life, we must as a nation seize this moment," Manmohan Singh said.
He said the task of ensuring transparency in public life and punishing the corrupt had acquired an urgency as never before.
The prime minister said the government would bring in a bill in the winter session of parliament to ensure transparency in government procurement contracts (running into thousands of crore of rupees).
He said: "The government is working on legislation to make bribery in private sector punishable in law."