"The Lokpal Bill was brought with some amendments in the last session. Members showed keen interest in it. It was decided that the Bill may be referred to a Parliamentary committee. Government did not object to it and the Bill was referred to the select committee of the House. The Bill will be taken in the next session," Singh said.
        
He said there were some amendments required to be done to do away the technicalities being faced in the Lokpal Act. Singh said the government also proposed provision for inclusion of the single largest opposition party in the selection panel as there is no Leader of Opposition in the Lower House.
        
Singh, who is Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, said the government's intention was to clear all pending anti-corruption legislation including the Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill, 2013.
        
Under the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, the selection committee led by the Prime Minister consists of the Lok Sabha Speaker, the Leader of Opposition (LoP) in the Lower House, the Chief Justice of India or a judge of the apex court nominated by him and an eminent jurist who could be nominated by the President or any other member.
     
Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan has rejected Congress' demand for LoP status to its leader. Congress with 44 seats in the 543-member Lok Sabha has emerged as the second largest party after BJP's 282 but fell short by 11 to stake claim to the LoP post for which it requires a strength of 55.
    
Singh also launched an e-book citing good governance initiatives taken by the Personnel Ministry.
     
He said there is no proposal under the government's consideration to either increase or decrease the retirement age of the central government employees, which is at present 60 years.
   
Singh said the provision for promoting self-attestation in place of notarised affidavits for a majority of government work is gaining pace across the country and bringing results.
     
He said government will soon introduce a programme for its senior officials and allow them to interact with school students.
     
The Minister said the government has started a pilot project for Jammu and Kashmir, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra for training of state government officials so that they can effectively contribute in citizen-centric governance.

 

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