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Parliament to decide Lokpal Bill's final shape: Pranab

By The Assam Tribune
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NEW DELHI, Dec 26 (IANS): Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee Monday the government was aware of some sticking points in the Lokpal bill opposed by social activist Anna Hazare but the "final shape" of the contentious anti-graft legislation would be decided by parliament.

"We know there are few points but it is for the parliament to decide what will be the final shape of the legislation," Mukherjee told reporters here.

Asked if there was any pressure on MPs in the wake of Hazare's fresh agitation for passing the bill, the minister said: "We have brought the legislation for the consideration of the house. Let's see. I cannot make any premature comment what will happen, how the members of parliament will respond to various provisions of the bill."

"As and when the discussion will take place we will come to know," he said.

He said it was parliament's job to make laws. "We had several rounds of discussions with Anna Hazare and his team. I think nine meetings I had in the joint drafting committee. Thereafter also through interlocutors some discussions have taken place," he said.

The Lok Sabha is expected to begin a discussion Tuesday on the Lokpal bill introduced in the house last week. The winter session, which was to end Dec 22, has been extended Dec 27-29 to discuss the bill.

Simulaneously, Hazare will go on a three-day fast in Mumbai to demand a strong anti-corruption law.

The social activist and his team members are strongly opposed to the government's version of the bill. They have termed it "useless" and are urging the government to pass their version of the legislation called the Jan Lokpal bill that gives sweeping powers to the proposed ombudsman.

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Parliament to decide Lokpal Bill

NEW DELHI, Dec 26 (IANS): Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee Monday the government was aware of some sticking points in the Lokpal bill opposed by social activist Anna Hazare but the "final shape" of the contentious anti-graft legislation would be decided by parliament.

"We know there are few points but it is for the parliament to decide what will be the final shape of the legislation," Mukherjee told reporters here.

Asked if there was any pressure on MPs in the wake of Hazare's fresh agitation for passing the bill, the minister said: "We have brought the legislation for the consideration of the house. Let's see. I cannot make any premature comment what will happen, how the members of parliament will respond to various provisions of the bill."

"As and when the discussion will take place we will come to know," he said.

He said it was parliament's job to make laws. "We had several rounds of discussions with Anna Hazare and his team. I think nine meetings I had in the joint drafting committee. Thereafter also through interlocutors some discussions have taken place," he said.

The Lok Sabha is expected to begin a discussion Tuesday on the Lokpal bill introduced in the house last week. The winter session, which was to end Dec 22, has been extended Dec 27-29 to discuss the bill.

Simulaneously, Hazare will go on a three-day fast in Mumbai to demand a strong anti-corruption law.

The social activist and his team members are strongly opposed to the government's version of the bill. They have termed it "useless" and are urging the government to pass their version of the legislation called the Jan Lokpal bill that gives sweeping powers to the proposed ombudsman.

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