Oslo: Emphasising that corruption undoubtedly remains a concern, President Pranab Mukherjee today said it must be handled, controlled and eradicated through certain institutional arrangements which have been put in place in India.
“Corruption is no doubt a concern and our policy makers, leaders and statesmen are fully aware of it. Corruption must be handled, controlled and eradicated through certain institutional arrangements,” the President said in an interaction with Finnish media as he heads to Helsinki this evening.
Mukherjee said India has a large number of institutional arrangements, legal framework and also agencies to implement anti-corruption law.
“For instance, very recently, we passed the all-powerful Lokpal Bill. Lokpal will be like an Ombudsman. Various agencies will work under it and their reports will be considered at a very high level. Deliberations on the composition of Lokpal and scope of activities have covered a wide range,” he said in the interview released by the President's office.
The President said in addition to Lokpal Act, there are several other Acts including Prevention of Corruption Act which was passed in 1988, the CVC Act apart from the Indian Penal Code which provides penal punishments for corrupt practices.
“So, on the one hand we are emphasising powerful and effective laws, and on the other hand, institutions like Central Bureau of Invesitgation and the Vigilance Commission have been made independent of the day-to-day executive activity. These are the measures through which corruption is being tackled,” he said.
Mukherjee said he is happy that there is growing concern amongst the people about corruption and this gets reflected in the actions of elected representatives of the people. “For instance, the Lokpal Bill was considered by the Indian Parliament as many as eight times. In my capacity as the Finance Minister and senior-most Minister in the previous Cabinet, I had an important role to play—a proactive role rather—in the legislation of the Lokpal Act.
“I know how many times efforts were made and how many times it could not be implemented in our Parliament. But, finally, we could do it because it was agreed that a time has come that strong legislation, a legislative framework and institutional arrangements are called for. So, it has been done,” the President said.