Sunday, February 26, 2017

Activists demand unlimited free RTI info for BPL applicants

Times of India: Aurangabad: Sunday, February 26, 2017.
As the Below Poverty Line (BPL) applicants will no longer be able to seek unlimited photocopies of desired information under the Right To Information (RTI) Act as per new rules, activists have demanded rolling back the concerned decision. "It is a prejudiced decision, which is detrimental to the spirit of the RTI Act. The government should scrap such diktat," said Nitin Pawar, a leader of unorganized sector labourers.
In a major decision, the State General Administration Department (GAD) has asked all public institutions that BPL candidates should be given only 50 photocopies of desired information free of cost and thereafter normal charges be recovered on the line of other applicants. Fee of Rs 2 per page is charged for photocopies of information sought by other than BPL candidates.
The GAD circular, in its introductory part, has referred to a slew of recommendations the State Information Commission (SIC) had made in past and clubbed all those in annual report of 2016, paving the way for speculations that the move to charge BPL applicants has been suggested by the SIC.
Sushil Rathod, another activist, said any circular from the government department should not negate the legislation framed by the Parliament. "The government should have equal approach towards looking at different stakeholders and any biased attitude towards particular community implies towards sick mind of policy makers ," he said.