"We hope to see the establishment of a strong and effective Lokpal in the coming months. Whatever be the structure and functions of the Lokpal when it is established, the CBI as our premier investigating agency will continue to play a very important role in our efforts for ensuring probity in our public life," the prime minister said.
Speaking at the biennial conference of the CBI and state anti-corruption bureau, he said the debate over the possible ways and means to curb corruption and improve the processes of governance has intensified in the last few months.
"The agitation for the establishment of a Lokpal has brought the issue of cleaning up of our public life right at the top of the agenda of our national priorities. I believe that the churning over this issue that our society and our polity are witnessing today, marked by sharp differences of opinions and ardent advocacy of particular causes is, on balance, good for our country," the prime minister said.
Earlier, the CBI Director A P Singh in his speech said the CBI must be an integral and independent component in any effort to strengthen the mechanism to combat corruption.
"One of the draft bills of Lokpal envisages merger of the anti-corruption wing of the CBI with the Lokpal. Given the composite nature of the CBI...I am of the firm belief that such a proposal is neither practical nor advisable...I will very strongly advocate that at no cost the CBI is bifurcated or divested of its anti-corruption mandate," he said.