New Delhi: Admitting the growing feeling amongst people that present systems are not effective in tackling the corruption and sleaze, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday said he hopes to bring the more powerful anti-graft Lokpal Bill in the monsoon session of Parliament.

Inaugurating the Civil Services Day here, Manmohan Singh stressed that his government was putting in all efforts to create a systemic response to curb malpractices in the country.

The Prime Minister said: "We must recognise that there is little public tolerance now for the prevailing state of affairs. People expect swift and exemplary action and rightly so. Corruption is an impediment to faster growth, and hurts the poor most. It is a challenge we must tackle boldly and we stand committed to doing so."

"Our aim is to strengthen the legislative framework, revamp administrative practices and procedures and fast track a systemic response to fighting corruption. A committee of ministers and representatives of Civil Society is at work to finalise the draft of the Lokpal Bill, which may be introduced during the monsoon session of Parliament," he said.

He said two bills relating to judicial accountability and protection of whistle blowers have already been introduced in Parliament, and hoped that India would soon ratify the United Nations Convention on Corruption.

He added that the government was committed to bringing more transparency in public procurement and to ensuring that disinvestment of public utilities and allocation of public resources are done in a manner that best safeguards the interests of the asset-owning public.

Civil servants asked to be innovative
Urging civil servants to be more innovative, he said, "The need to re-fashion our civil services as effective instruments for delivery of services and as agents of improved governance is an ongoing process. The aim should be to evolve new and imaginative solutions for the problems facing us".

The civil servants need to continuously update themselves to deal with the newer challenges, he added. People value the work done by honest and dedicated civil servants and look up to them, the Prime Minister said.

The PM asked the civil services to set the highest standards of probity and integrity in public and personal life and to create an atmosphere and a work ethic which encourage honesty and integrity.

PM awards for excellence
Turnaround of a sick bridge construction undertaking in Bihar and an educational centre for disabled children in Maharashtra were among five initiatives that were honoured with the Prime Minister's Awards for Excellence in Public Administration.

Pratyaya Amrit, Chairman of Patna-based Rajya Pul Nirmal Nigam Limited received the award from the PM for his efforts to turn the sick company into Rs 80 crore profit making unit in the last fiscal.

The award for "Success story of Malkapur 24x7 water supply scheme" in Maharashtra was shared by four persons and the award for the education and training centre for children with hearing impairment, also in Maharashtra, was given to two persons.

The Commissionerate of Health, Medical Services and Medical Education in Gujarat bagged the award for its "sickle cell anaemia control programme" and Department of Environment, Science and Technology in Himachal Pradesh was given the award for "sustainable plastic waste management".
     
Female foeticide a national shame
The Prime Minister said that it was a "national shame" that the practice of female foeticide was continuing in the country despite women breaking existing barriers to prove their worth in every sphere.

"The provisional population totals for Census 2011 have been released recently. While most of the news appears to be good, the falling child sex ratio is an indictment of our social values," he said.
“Our girls and women have done us proud in classrooms, in boardrooms and on the sports field. They have broken existing barriers to prove their worth in almost every sphere", the Prime Minister said.

JPN/ Agencies