Acknowledging that the Anna Hazare movement has served its purpose, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said today that the recent debate over corruption has awakened the country to the harmful consequences of corruption eating into the political, economic and social fabric of our society.
"I think that the movement of Anna Hazare ji has served its purpose, and our government is committed to do all that is necessary to clean up the system” Singh said while answering a wide range of questions from mediapersons during his return journey from the 5th India-Brazil-South Africa ( IBSA) Summit at Pretoria, the Capital of South Africa.
“We are all working to ensure that we have in place before long an effective Lok Pal Bill in the Parliament” he said, adding: “our expectation is for a Bill which will be an assurance to people that corruption cannot flourish as a way of life in our country.”
Prime Minister’s candid acknowledgement of Anna Hazare’s role has been interpreted as a subtle but signficant signal to anti-corruption campaigner not to push the envelope on the Lokpal Bill deadline.
Asked whether corruption was an inevitable fallout of a rapid economic growth in developing countries, Prime Minister termed it as a “complacent point of view which cannot be accepted”. The question was in the context of a rash of political scandals and anti-corruption protests in recent past by opposition parties and civil society groups in India, Brazil and South Africa- all three members of the IBSA Dialgoue Forum and recognized as emerging powers besides their commonness as mutl-ethnic,multi-cultural nations.
Noting that corruption hurts the poor and the process of development and affects the quality governance, Singh said that for these very reasons, corruption cannot be taken as a fallout of fast economic growth”.
He sought to allay the apprehensions about the Wall Street-type protest movement currently stalking the United States of America and Eurozone finding an echo in India.” Protests in Wall Street and Europe are about fat salaries of the bankers while people are being asked to tighten their belt. Also, there are problems of unemployment both in the US and Europe, said adding that the developments are a timely warning to those in charge of the processes of governance.
On his prescription to insulate India from the deepening economic troubles in the US and Europe, Singh struck a note of caution and confidence :” We have to ensure that ill-wills from abroad don’t affect our growth process adversely.”
For that, he stressed, it is very essential to keep up the tempo of investments particularly in infrastructure, agriculture and energy-saving technologies. “ I am that just the way, in 2008, we showed to the world that we can swim against the winds blowing from abroad, it is still possible for india to achieve a healthy growth rate of 8-8.5 % despite the adversity of the global economic environment.