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Oct 16th 2017
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Home Political News Prime Minister's Office responds to Anna's letter
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The PMO writes to Anna Hazare addressing the issues raised by the social activist.

 

Increasingly silent Prime Minister's Office is finally talking about the steps government is taking to address the issues of Lokpal and corruption amongst others. The written response follows a letter written by team Anna late last month addressing the Prime Minister.

Increasingly under pressure by team Anna on the Lokpal Bill the PMO says, "The Government has tabled a strong Lokpal Bill in Parliament which has features that are more progressive than in any Bill tabled before. This Bill has been prepared after extensive discussions with you and your colleagues (team Anna) and all suggestions that were considered to be feasible have been incorporated. Government is of the opinion that parliament has to take a final view on the Bill and the passage of the Bill should be a parliament-led process. The Bill has now been referred to a select committee which will be open to receive and examine all relevant suggestions."

On corruption the letter has this to say, "Government has taken a slew of measures, both legislative and executive, to curb and reduce corruption. The Public Interest Disclosure and Protection of Persons Making the Disclosure Bill, the Prevention of Bribery of Foreign Public Officials and Officials of International Organisations Bill, the Citizens' Right to Grievance Redress Bill and the Judicial Standards and Accountability Bill have been brought forward. India has also ratified the United Nations Convention against Corruption. A comprehensive public procurement law has been approved by the cabinet. The National Mission for Delivery of Justice and Legal Reforms has been set up."

On black money the letter says, "To fight the menace of black money, the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act and amendment to the Prevention of Money Laundering Act have been passed. A special committee has been set up to examine measures to strengthen laws to curb black money generation. Independent agencies have been commissioned to assess the quantum of black money and make recommendations. New Income Tax Overseas Units have been set up and new Tax Information Exchange Agreements and Double Taxation Avoidance Agreements have been signed to contain generation and outflow of illicit funds. "

The letter goes on to highlight the various additional measures the government is taking to stop such illegal practices in India.

Only time would tell if the letter is in spirit or just a PR exercise.

 

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