Saturday, June 10, 2017

CIC calls for creating awareness for effective implementation of RTI Act

Rising Kashmir: Srinagar: Saturday, June 10, 2017.
The Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) J&K Khurshid Ahmed Ganai called for creating more awareness among the general public for effective implementation of the J&K RTI Act, 2009.
The Chief Information Commissioner was addressing the Roundtable of First Appellate Authorities (FAAs), Public Information Officers (PIOs) of District Anantnag.
The CIC stated that as per the figures available for the year 2014-15, 27,000 RTI applications have been received by the PIOs in the State while over 30,000 applications were received in the year 2013-14. This works out to an average of 1200 to 1300 applications per district per year which is quite low.
He said if higher number of applications from the districts of Srinagar and Jammu are accounted for, then it would appear that the number of applications from other districts is even less than 1,000 per year or may be even lesser. This he said is the result of lack of awareness about the RTI law among the general public.
He said that exercise of the right under the RTI Act can be extremely useful in improving the delivery of the developmental programmes being undertaken as part of the District as well as State Plans and under various other State and Centrally sponsored schemes and projects. He also said that greater exercise of RTI will help to improve the performance of the local self government institutions like Municipalities and Panchayats and also of recruitment agencies.
He said that there is a need for allocation of separate budget which could be provided to all the Deputy Commissioners in the State to conduct awareness generation programmes about the RTI to meet the requirements of Section 23.
The RTI activists highlighted the problems which the RTI applicants are facing and sought directions from the CIC and the Deputy Commissioner to all the PIOs so that the information sought for by the applicants is provided within the stipulated time frame and no information is hidden unless covered by the exemptions under sections 8 and 9 of the Act or cannot be provided in terms of section 11 etc.