India Inc supports Anna Hazare

Last Updated: Fri, Apr 08, 2011 14:20 hrs

New Delhi, April 8 (IANS) India Inc Friday came out with strong support for social activist Anna Hazare's fast-unto-death to demand a stringent anti-graft law.

'I think it is extremely important. We have talked about this for a while. First, you have said there is corruption in India and in many ways it seemed we had accepted it as a fact of life,' Sunil Munjal, chairman of Hero Corporate Services, told reporters on the sidelines of the CII national conference and annual session here.

'But the amount and number of scandals which have broken out in recent times, it has made people sit up and take notice and say this is enough. We need to fix this problem, and so I see in many ways what we are seeing in this movement is a sign of the same thing,' he added.

The septuagenarian activist's fast-unto-death against corruption continued for the fourth day Friday.

Anna Hazare, joined by an increasing number of supporters, has been demanding that the government expedite the process of passing a stringent Lokpal Bill that will include the power to investigate and prosecute the executive, bureaucracy and even the judiciary.

'The Lokpal Bill of the government, I think everybody agrees, is not adequate. It doesn't have enough teeth. The Lok Ayukta Bill which today is functioning in 18 states, barring little bit in Karnataka, what has it achieved? Hardly much. So, it has to be given enough teeth,' said Rahul Bajaj, chairman of Bajaj Auto.

'I have much more faith in Anna Hazare than in anyone in the government today. So, I am all for Anna Hazare, because all of us are sick of corruption,' Bajaj added.

Industry forums FICCI and Assocham too came out in support of Anna Hazare.

'Corruption in high places is denting India's image and both parties involved in corrupt transactions should be swiftly and severely punished. An effective and empowered office of Jan Lokpal (Ombudsman) will be a significant instrument to curb corruption in the country,' said a resolution passed by FICCI.

'We deeply appreciate the efforts of stalwarts like Anna Hazare who have taken the ultimate step in stirring the national conscience on this important issue,' said Rajiv Kumar, director general of FICCI.

Thousands of people, including school children, commoners and celebrities made their way to Jantar Mantar, the spot where the 72-year-old is on a fast-unto-death. Many more organised protests across the cities and towns of the country.

'We strongly support any process or mechanism that will lead to good governance and weed out corruption from all walks of life,' said Dilip Modi, president of the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham).

'We trust and are confident that the Lokpal Bill would be drafted after careful deliberation and consideration of all views for it can go a long way in strengthening good governance and instilling confidence in democratic institutions,' he added.