Centre set to form GoM to check corruption
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Last Updated: Thursday, January 06, 2011, 22:02
New Delhi: Under attack over various scams, the government is all set to set up a Group of Ministers (GoM) to deal with the issue of corruption in the framework of five-point agenda outlined by Congress President Sonia Gandhi.

The issue of corruption and ways to tackle it figured at the meeting of Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh here Thursday.

Though corruption was not on the agenda of the Cabinet meeting, the issue was discussed briefly, with some members expressing their views, sources said.

The GoM, which is expected to be headed by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, is likely to include Home Minister P Chidambaram, Defence Minister A K Antony, HRD Minister Kapil Sibal and Law Minister Veerappa Moily, sources said.

The Group will devise a roadmap for implementing the five-point action plan outlined by Gandhi at the AICC Plenary here last month to battle corruption, they said.

Her prescription included fast-tracking all cases against public servants including politicians, taking forward the proposal of State-funding of elections, legislative and clear procedures to ensure transparency in public procurement and shedding of discretionary powers by Chief Ministers and all Ministers, including at the Centre.

She had also suggested an open competitive system of exploiting natural resources was also needed.

At the Cabinet meeting today, the discussion was inconclusive because the meeting was short as the Prime Minister and some other Ministers had to attend to various programmes, the sources said.

The discussion on corruption at the Cabinet came amid the government moves to bring an Ordinance on Lokpal which will bring the Prime Minister within its purview.

The government, sources said, wants the issue to be part part of the President's Address to the Nation on the eve of the Republic Day later this month.

According to the Lokpal Bill under preparation, the Lokpal shall consist of a Chairperson who is or has been a Chief Justice or a judge of the Supreme Court. It will also have two members who have either been the judges of the Supreme Court or the Chief Justices of the High Courts.


First Published: Thursday, January 06, 2011, 22:02

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