National Advisory Council to work on Lokpal bill

New Delhi: The National Advisory Council (NAC) led by UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi will examine the proposed draft Lokpal bill and submit its recommendations to the government.

NAC's working group on transparency and accountability, in a meeting held yesterday, decided that it will take up the Lokpal bill, a member of the council told a news agency.

A Group of Ministers (GoM) headed by Pranab Mukherjee is presently working on the dynamics of the bill.

"Corruption is a boiling issue right now. The president of the council (Sonia Gandhi) has given her nod for the working group (on transparency and accountability) to study the draft of the bill and submit its suggestions," said the member.

A committee of secretaries is also working on the Lokpal bill under the cabinet secretary.

President Pratibha Patil, in her address to the joint session of the Parliament on February 21, had also stressed on the need for transparency and integrity in the functioning of the government.

The bill is an attempt by the government, under massive pressure due to corruption charges, to gain some of its lost ground.

Civil rights activists, including Anna Hazare, Swami Agnivesh, Kiran Bedi and Arvind Kejriwal, have termed the draft legislation as weak and demanded that fifty percent of the members in the committee drafting the bill should be from the public.

The working group on transparency and accountability of NAC will also work on the issues related with the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, said the member.