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CAVING IN to public outrage over the spate of scams, President Pratibha Patil on Monday listed fighting corruption as the UPA government's top priority, even though she did not specify any action plan for doing so.

Addressing the joint session of Parliament, the President said the government would " frontally" deal with concerns over lack of transparency, probity and integrity in public life.

" Our citizens deserve good governance; it is their entitlement and our obligationC*. A Group of Ministers ( GoM) is considering all measures, including legislative and administrative, to tackle corruption and improve transparency," she said.

But the address turned out to be high on intent and low on specifics as the President pinned her hopes on the GoM, besides the proposed legislation to protect whistleblowers.

Patil also devoted considerable time to the raging issue of black money, particularly funds stashed away in foreign banks. " My government stands committed to tackling the menace frontally. It requires diligent, sustained effort by all law enforcement agencies, including those of state governments," she said.

Even if it is a lip- service, it is significant because it is for the first time in years that the corruption- black money ensemble has found space in presidential address to Parliament.

By way of measures to tackle it, Patil said the legal framework for tackling black money was being strengthened.

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Date:Feb 22, 2011
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