PM hopes for consensus on Lokpal Bill



New Delhi: Against the backdrop of a lack of political consensus on the final shape of the proposed Lokpal, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday hoped that political parties will help its passage in the Rajya Sabha.

"Our commitment to make the work of the government and administration transparent and accountable stands," he said in his Independence Day address.

With the Lokpal Bill pending in the Rajya Sabha, Singh hoped that "all political parties" will help the UPA government pass the legislation in the Upper House.

"The Lok Sabha has cleared the Lokpal and Lokayukta Bill. We hope that all political parties will help us in passing this Bill in the Rajya Sabha," he said.

The Bill, passed by the Lok Sabha last year, is being scrutinised by a Select Committee of the Rajya Sabha and the government hopes to bring it in the Upper House for passage in the ongoing Monsoon Session.

Differences among parties on the final shape of the ombudsman had led to the setting up of the Select Committee which is to give its report by the end of the Monsoon Session.

With several anti-corruption legislations in the offing, the Prime Minister assured public servants that they will be insulated against frivolous allegations.

"We will continue our efforts to bring more transparency and accountability in the work of public servants and to reduce corruption.

"But we will also take care that these measures do not result in a situation in which the morale of public functionaries taking decisions in public interest gets affected because of baseless allegations and unnecessary litigation," he said.

He also referred to the Public Procurement Bill and said such measures will increase transparency in decision making.

PTI