Long way to go to ensure probity: PM


New Delhi : Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Friday said the government had taken several legal and administrative measures to curb corruption in the past year but there was still a long way to go to ensure transparency, accountability and probity in public life.

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Addressing a conference of chief secretaries here, he said there was need for the central and state governments to work together to ensure better governance.

The prime minister said he had told chief secretaries last year that the government was committed to taking all legal and administrative measures to curb corruption in public life and improving the delivery of public services.

“We have moved substantially forward in these areas in the last one year. We have introduced in parliament a bill on Citizens Charter which will empower citizens to demand services with appropriate standards from government departments. The electronic delivery of services bill has also been introduced in parliament,” Manmohan Singh said.

The prime minister said it was unfortunate that the Lokpal and Lokayuktas bill could not be passed in the last session of parliament.

“But I do hope that we would soon be able to enact a strong Lokpal law. We are moving forward on framing a law for regulating public procurement. The National e-Governance Plan is being implemented to improve delivery of services,” he said.

He said the government had “built upon” its earlier initiatives such as the Right to Information Act, the Judicial Accountability Bill and the Whistle Blowers Bill — but there was a long way to go.

“We still have a long way to go in our efforts for ensuring transparency, accountability and probity in public life,” the prime minister said.

He said government had made rapid progress in providing Aadhaar identity numbers to about 13 crore residents, which would help in eliminating leakages. He said it had also approved the coverage of an additional 40 crore residents under the Aadhaar scheme.