New Delhi: Throwing her weight behind the
supremacy of parliament, President Pratibha Patil on Saturday said
the government was sincere in passing the Lok Pal Bill.
"Definitely, that is the best way. And it should happen
that way. I feel so," she told reporters yesterday during her
return from Switzerland and Austria tour.
She was responding to a question about whether the fight
against corruption should be led by parliamentary democracy.
Backed the government`s efforts to tackle corruption,
Patil said, "Government of India is taking a lot of measures.
The Bill is before the House and the government is very
sincere in passing the bill, the Lok Pal Bill and bringing it
into force," adding, "There is no doubt about it."
She said a lot of other measures are being taken and gave
the example of RTI.
The president said the world was seeing that "despite
such a big country, India is implementing RTI, which is very
She also talked about the Amending Protocol to Double
Taxation Treaty inked with Switzerland recently.
"India is very keen on it... I took up the issue with
Switzerland also. So all measures which are necessary to curb
corruption and combat corruption, the government of India
taking and that is why India is actively considering becoming
a member of International Anti-corruption Academy," she said.
In a statement to the journalists on board the special
plane, Patil said, "The session that I had with President
Micheline Calmy-Rey, members of the Federal council of
Switzerland and with President Heinz Fischer, Chancellor
Werner Faymann and the President of the National Council in
Austria were meaningful and productive.
"I observed a clear desire on their part to expand and
broaden the canvass of our bilateral relations."
She said she fully reciprocated these sentiments.
"We agreed to elevate our relationship with Switzerland
to the level of privileged partnership. With Austria we agreed
to widen and deepen our traditional partnership."
Patil said both countries agreed on expanding economic
On the visit to European Organisation for Nuclear
Research, famously known as CERN, Patil said she wanted to
understand the ongoing cutting edge research of the premier
She said that increasing India`s involvement in CERN is
possible "including associate membership of CERN".
"When I asked about research to reduce solar energy
costs, so necessary for its wider use in a sunshine rich
country like India, the CERN Director said they would be happy
to work with India in energy efficiency and in the avoidance
of wastage in transmission and distribution," she said.
According to the president, both countries also
acknowledged that India`s candidacy for a permanent seat in an
expanded Security Council was unequivocally strong and