Pawan Kumar: Lokpal is a priority for the government

The government on Wednesday said it was determined to get the highly-publicized anti-graft lokpal bill during the winter session of Parliament beginning on November 22.

It has set an ambitious target of getting a total of 31 important bills passed during the session and introducing 23 other bills, which is scheduled to have 21 working days, subject to disruptions on various issues.

Parliamentary affairs minister Pawan Kumar Bansal said the panel examining the lokpal bill is expected to give its report by the month-end and the government will have an “open mind and will give a very serious thought” to the panel’s recommendations.

“Lokpal is a priority for the government. We are determined to pass it,” he said, adding, “The government stands committed to root out corruption. But it requires a slew of measures.”

Social activist Anna Hazare has already warned the government about re-launching his agitation in case a strong lokpal bill is not passed in the session ending on December 21.  

Bansal said if the parliamentary standing committee on law and justice agreed, there could be a separate bill for giving constitutional status to the lokpal, a demand first raised by Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi. He said the work was on over half a dozen bills.

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