Delhi: In a major win for the Team Anna camp, the UPA government finally caved in to political and public pressure and agreed to bring CBI under the Lokpal jurisdiction. However citing resource constraints the CBI will only investigate corruption and fraud cases only if the fraudulent amount of exceeds 13,500 crore USD.
Speaking on the floor of the house law minister Salman Khurshid said that the CBI is India’s most prestigious institution and should be used as sparingly as possible. Adding this clause would ensure that 98% of all public sector projects which comprise of roadways, flyovers, railways, gutters, footpaths, parks, water works, defense, food and agriculture disbursement, Argo subsidies, electricity distribution, commonwealth games and telecom spectrum sales would be exempt from CBI jurisdiction.
Union minister Pranab Mukherjee supported this measure stating that this would allow businesses and economy to flourish and operate without fear of CBI prosecution. Markets responded positively to the news as well. BSE was up 2.1% 16.222 and NIFTY was up 3% at 4910.
All members of the house are expected to support the new bill. Opposition leader Sushma Swaraj was visibly pleased and cited that this bill meets the demands of the people, team Anna and all parliamentarians. Our correspondents report that massive celebrations are being planned at the residences of Suresh Kalmadi, A Raja and Kanimozhi.