Anna's Lokpal a white elephant costing Rs 2,000 crore?

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Anna Hazare
New Delhi, Nov 14: With the whole of India coming together in its fight against corruption for a Jan Lokpal Bill suggested by Team Anna headed by crusader Anna Hazare, it looks like the Bill if implemented will come with a hefty price tag. The fact was revealed by social activists and former bureaucrats in Chennai who commented that India will have to cough up close to Rs 2,000 crore every year to maintain the Lokpal.

The activists were also of the opinion that the Bill proposed by Lokpal has its shortcomings. They were speaking at a seminar organised by the Southern India Education Trust and the Forum for the Promotion of Moderate Thought among Muslims (FPMTAM).

The speakers at the function slammed the proposals made by Team Anna and rather focus on amendments to existing laws that would ensure democracy and secularism in India.
Secretary general, FPMTAM, A Faizur Rehman described the Lokpal as a behemoth and questioned the need to dedicate an annual budget of 0.25% of India"s gross annual revenue to maintain the Lokpal. He commented, "The bill"s drafters should explain the rationale behind the demand."

Also speaking at the event was MR Sivaraman, former Union revenue secretary and veteran bureaucrat who made the point that corruption had two sides, the giver and the taker. He stated, "The guilt of the former has been left out completely." He slammed the Lokpal's powers to tap telephones.

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