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Govt open to reasoned debate on Lokpal Bill: PM

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today reiterated that the government is open to a debate on the Lokpal Bill. He also said that there is no single solution to tackle corruption. Joydeep Thakur reports.

kolkata Updated: Aug 22, 2011 12:24 IST
Joydeep Thakur
Joydeep Thakur
Hindustan Times

The creation of Lokpal Bill as an institution will help, but it will not solve the problem (of corruption) unless supported by judicial reforms, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said in Kolkata on Monday.

"We are open to a debate on all these issues. The creation of a Lokpal will no doubt help... But it will not solve the problem," Singh said speaking at the golden jubilee celebrations of IIM Kolkata.

Singh also said "the Bill needs to be supported by improvements in the pace and quality of judicial processes."

"We need to thoroughly revamp existing government procedures to reduce discretion and to make the basis of decision making as transparent as possible," said Singh.

Singh is likely to visit IIT Kharagpur later during the day.

Singh also flagged the funding of political parties as a major source of concern.

"The funding of elections and of political parties happens to be yet another area which calls for reforms to reduce the scope of generation of black money," he said.

"There are some who argue that corruption is a consequence of economic liberation and reforms. This, of course, is completely mistaken. Many of the areas, which have actually seen systemic reforms have also seen the disappearance of corruption. Industrial licensing, import licensing and rationing of foreign exchange are good examples," said Singh.

"I believe that a new sun is rising on our east and Kolkata can once again regain its glory as India's window to Asia," said the Prime Minister.

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee was also present on the dais.

First Published: Aug 22, 2011 11:39 IST