Govt to make private sector bribery criminal: PM

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday said government is considering changes in law to make private sector bribery a criminal offence.

Last Updated: Oct 21, 2011, 13:15 PM IST

New Delhi: With the alleged involvement of big corporates in a spate of scams apparently weighing on his mind, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday said government is
considering changes in law to make private sector bribery a criminal offence.

Speaking at the Biennial Conference of CBI and state anti-corruption bureaux, the Prime Minister said India has ratified UN Conventions against corruption and to meet its
requirements a slew of measures which include amendments in laws pertaining to anti-graft measures.

"To meet the requirements of the Convention, we have introduced a Bill in Parliament to make bribery of foreign public officials an offence. We are considering changes in our
laws to criminalize private sector bribery," he said.

But the Prime Minister did not provide any details of how private sector bribery will be dealt with.

He said Government is working on ways and means to minimise discretionary powers of public authorities and the issue of a public procurement law to minimize irregularities
in the award of government contracts worth thousands of crores of rupees every year.

The Prime Minister however said "Whatever we might do to minimise the opportunities for corruption, the sad reality is that we cannot build a totally fool-proof system. There will
always be some instances of corrupt practices in the work of public authorities."

He urged the CBI that people indulging in corruption must realise that they cannot possibly get away from the law and would sooner rather than later suffer the consequences of their wrongdoing.

PTI