Perception and Fact
By removing its harsher provisions, the Indian government has made the Lokpal Act more acceptable.
India takes an important
The Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government passed the Lokpal and Lokayukta Act (LL Act) in 2013 in response to a countrywide agitation against corruption led by Anna Hazare. But, in a bid to be seen as cracking down on those who swindle public money or resources, it introduced provisions which are too draconian.
The Lokpal Act brings under its purview any NGO “wholly or partly funded by the Union government to the extent of one crore rupees or more and has received Rs 10 lakhs or more in foreign donations. The provisions of the act, “not only intrude into the privacy of individuals, but also provide the leeway for officials to harass people,” analysts say, adding that, “overregulation may not only stifle the voluntary sector but also force volunteers and donors to stay away. Many trustees, directors and professional managers in NGOs, who could be philanthropists, experts and eminent persons from different walks of life, wouldn’t want their assets and liabilities loosely posted on government websites.”
India has followed a clear course since the beginning of economic reforms in 1991 of doing away with the tyranny of “red tape and inspector raj.” At the same time, the direction has also been “to encourage enterprises and individuals alike to invest their precious and finite resources such as time and money, in areas