Govt committed to a strong Lokpal: PM’s New Year message

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New Delhi:  Wishing to put behind a “very difficult” year, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday acknowledged that concern about corruption has moved to the centre stage and vowed to personally work to provide an “honest and more efficient government”.

In his New Year message to the nation, he noted that corruption was a serious problem that needs multi-dimensional response of which Lokpal and Lokayuktas are an important part. (PM’s New Year message: Full transcript)

He said it was “unfortunate” that Lokpal and Lokayuktas Bill could not be passed by the Rajya Sabha but said the government was committed to enactment of the effective law.

“The year that has just ended was a very difficult year for the world,” Dr Singh said, citing the economic crisis, socio economic tensions, “political upheavals in many developing countries” and “a revolution of rising expectations fostered by the extraordinary reach of the electronic media and the connectivity provided by new social networking platforms.”

These issues kept governments around the world “on their toes”, he said, adding that “we in India have had our share of problems.”

Talking in the context of India specifically, Dr Singh said the economy slowed down, inflation edged up and “concern about corruption moved to the centre stage”.

Counselling against despondency, he said, “we must address the new concerns that have arisen while remaining steadfast in our commitment to put the nation on a development path which ensures rapid, inclusive and sustainable growth.

“I want to assure you all on this New Year’s day that I personally will work to provide an honest and more efficient government, a more productive, competitive and robust economy and a more equitable and just social and political order.”

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