India may have to shell out Rs2,000 crore every year to maintain the Lokpal as suggested by Anna Hazare and team, say social activists and former bureaucrats in Chennai. They also alleged that the bill, as proposed by Team Anna, had many shortcomings.
Speakers at a seminar organised by the Southern India Education Trust and the Forum for the Promotion of Moderate Thought among Muslims (FPMTAM), called for dismissing such proposals and, in turn, introducing amendments which would safeguard democracy and secularism in the country.
AFaizur Rehman, secretary general, FPMTAM, described Lokpal as a behemoth, and wanted to know if it was wise to dedicate an annual budget of 0.25% of India’s gross annual revenue for it. “The bill’s drafters should explain the rationale behind the demand,” he said.
Veteran bureaucrat MR Sivaraman, former Union revenue secretary, said the bill has ignored the fact that corruption has two sides — the giver and the taker. “The guilt of the former has been left out completely,” he said. He also opposed granting powers to Lokpal for tapping telephones.