Team Anna will resume agitations if Bill falls short, she says

Stating that there was “a huge trust deficit,” Team Anna member Kiran Bedi on Sunday said agitations would be resumed if the ruling Congress party did not introduce a Bill to create an ombudsman that took into account all its concerns.

Ms. Bedi was speaking on a BBC television debate here at the World Economic Forum's India Economic Summit. She demanded that the “Lokpal Bill” must have provisions to include all government officials, including lawmakers and judicial officials, under the ambit of the law. It must make bidding of all valuable contracts transparent and all political donations public.

Adi B. Godrej, Chairman, Godrej Group, and president-designate, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), said the CII had framed a “code of business ethics” that many businesses were supporting. He said the country was suffering not just from corruption in business-to-government dealings, but also from the petty corruption that almost every citizen faced. This, he said, was hurting the economy and preventing domestic and foreign companies from investing in the country.

Mr. Godrej said corruption could be significantly reduced by making government processes and decision-making transparent and non-discretionary.

Punishment for corruption must be swift and certain, he said, adding that it was more important in the long run to create an economic environment where such acts did not pay, which could be achieved by ensuring reasonable levels of taxes and relatively quick legal redress.

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