Right to Information – Master key to good governance

Govt backs off, won’t harm RTI Act

Posted by rtiact2005 on August 20, 2006

Govt backs off, won’t harm RTI Act




Posted Saturday , August 19, 2006 at 16:25Updated Sunday , August 20, 2006 at 13:07

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ACTING FOR RTI: The PM and the UPA chief had assured civic groups that the Act won’t be harmed.

New Delhi: The Government has dropped its plan to amend the Right To Information Act (RTI) which would have barred public access to file notings, sources have told CNN-IBN.

Sources said there are strong indications that the Government will not push for the amendment and this means file notings, an important part of the Government’s decision making process, will be made available to the public.

The amendment proposed that excluding social issues, file notings on all other matters should not be available for public scrutiny.

Social activists and former bureaucrats opposed this, saying the curb would dilute the Act. The CPI-M-led Left parties have also opposed the amendment.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Suresh Pachauri said on Saturday that based on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s decision, the amendment will not be introduced in the monsoon session which concludes on August 25.

He said there have been considerable apprehensions about the proposed amendment. “Congress President Sonia Gandhi and the Prime Minister have received several representations in this regard and it has been decided that the issue should be first discussed with all stakeholders,” he said.

“The Prime Minister thinks that the act needs wider consultation before introducing it in Parliament,” he said.

A delegation from the Campaign to Save the RTI Act led by social activist Aruna Roy met Gandhi on Saturday, seeking a categorical assurance from the ruling coalition on the withdrawal of the amendments.

Social activist Anna Hazare called off his 11-day-old hunger strike against the amendment in Alandi, Maharashtra, after Minister of State in the PMO Prithviraj Chavan told him about the Government’s decision.

(With inputs from IANS)


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