Rome: The Italian Parliament has approved the government`s anti-corruption bill that seeks to increase jail terms in graft cases, among other measures.
The measure will come into force before the national elections due in April 2013, Justice Minister Paola Severino said Wednesday.
The law bans politicians with criminal convictions from seeking office and holds senior public office-bearers responsible for graft even if they claim not to have been directly involved in wrongdoing.
Key provisions include an increase in the jail terms for embezzlement convictions to a minimum four years from three previously up to a maximum of 10 years.
Abuse of office convictions will carry a one-to-four-year sentence and an anti-corruption authority will be set up to monitor malpractice in the public administration including nepotism and cronyism.
Drafting of the bill began in early October when the central government came under pressure to counter a welter of corruption and embezzlement scandals in several Italian regional administrations, notably in Lazio, Lombardy and Campania.