Eminent citizens for effective Lokpal Bill

Top industrialists and eminent citizens in their 2nd open letter asked pol leaders to enact a "well-crafted" Lokpal Bill to deal with the menace.

New Delhi: Concerned over corruption and
governance deficit, top industrialists and eminent citizens in
their second open letter asked political leaders to enact a
"well-crafted" Lokpal Bill to deal with the menace.

The eminent citizens, including Deepak Parekh (Chairman,
HDFC), Azim Premji (Chairman, Wipro), Jamshyd Godrej (Chairman
Godrej and Boyce) and Bimal Jalan (former RBI Governor), also
warned that corruption and policy uncertainty is driving away
investment to other countries.

This is the second letter by them since January this year
highlighting the issues concerning governance deficit and
corruption.

"We support the need for the urgent passage of a
well-crafted Lokpal Bill by Parliament. While Parliament
debates the contours of the Lokpal Bill, the discussion of the
details now resides with the Parliamentary Standing Committee
on Law and Justice," said Open Letter -II to the leaders.

The common man is a silent sufferer because available
constitutional remedies remain inaccessible, it said, adding,
"We believe that the Lokpal Bill is only one small but
critical step in the national task of weeding out the plague
of corruption in India."

This draft Lokpal Bill is intended to address episodic
corruption, but is unlikely to have any significant impact on
the day-to-day corruption which is insidious and demeaning, it
added.

Even the best crafted legislation will not cleanse the
system unless effective redressal mechanisms are put in place,
it said.

This, however, is not possible given the acute backlog of
cases pending in the courts, estimated at over 3.1 crore.

India has 10 judges per million population compared to 50 in
the UK and 107 in the US, it said.

The letter also said it is acknowledged that a strong
nexus exists between certain corporates, politicians,
bureaucrats and power brokers. This is one of the greatest
threats for the Indian economy.

"Policy uncertainties and delays in approvals are forcing
many large corporate entities to seek out opportunities in
other geographies," it said.

"While we appreciate and support the need for
environmental protection, it should be recognised that there
is an impasse on environmental clearances which continues to
delay several investment proposals and hamper economic
growth," it said.

PTI

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