A day after stating that lobbying and public relations were part of a democratic set-up, corporate affairs minister Salman Khurshid said the government might explore whether corporate lobbying could be included under the Right to Information (RTI) Act or a similar law.

Salman Khurshid“It is a democratic right of people, but there should be a legitimate limit on this. No one said that lobbying is illegal, but it should not go beyond points that are illogical,” the minister told reporters on the sidelines of the India Corporate Week organised by industry body Ficci here.

“Today, through the RTI transparency model, it can be known how we take decisions in the government. Now, perhaps, this model needs to include areas of lobbying, PR and specific influence that should be known to public,” he added.

The minister said in regulating the process of lobbying, it should be seen whether the present legal system was capable of dealing with this. “This is a matter of concern for all the ministries. For that, we should consult with the law, home, commerce and industry ministries and see what people at large feel. Then we will move forward,” he said.

Khurshid also welcomed objective suggestions from Opposition parties to tide over the concerns in the 2G spectrum allocation scam. “We will be very happy, if the Opposition comes out with some objective suggestions regarding this. People should look beyond what had happened. During the Satyam scam, we put things right and overcame the crisis; we will do the same in terms of telecom also. For that, the corporate affairs ministry is ready to give whatever assistance we can,” he said.

Earlier this week, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had called for an “ethical behaviour” from corporate figures after taped conversations between corporate lobbyist Radia and many high-profile personalities were leaked.

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September 2021