Lok Sabha passes the law on the right to information (amendment)

New Delhi: Lok Sabha passed a law on the right to information (amendment) on Monday, 2019, amid sharp criticism of the opposition.
In this amendment, an amendment to the 2005 Law on the Right to Information is proposed to ensure that the mandate, as well as salaries, benefits and other terms of service, the Chief Information Commissioner and the Information Commissioner, and the State Commissioner for Information and the state information commissioners will be as they may be prescribed by the central government.
Participating in the debate on the law, State Minister for Personnel, Public Complaints and Pensions, Dr Jitendra Singh said that this government is fully committed to transparency and accountability. Following this principle, the Government encouraged the motto to disseminate maximum information by government departments to reduce the number of RTI.
In addition, the Minister said that the Government focuses on resolving complaints through citizen participation. This strengthened the basic principle of RTI and consistently diminished the need for RTI in the past five years, Minister Dom informed.
Assuring members that the Government does not abuse its powers to establish rules regarding state information committees, Sing said that, according to the original act of 2005, the authority to set rules regarding information commissions is not within the jurisdiction of the Union or States or subsidiary lists. Accordingly, the rules of framing, even for state informative commissions, fall into the residual powers of the Union government, the minister said.
Answering the question of comparing conditions for services in information commissions and electoral commissions, Sing said that the Central Information Commission and the State Information Commissions were established by the statutory bodies in accordance with the provisions of the Law on the Right to Information, 2005. Therefore, the mandate of the Election Commission of India and the Central and State Information commissions are different. Accordingly, their status and service conditions must be rationally understood.
Furthermore, the Minister said that there had been no changes in the part of the original act that deals with the appointment of the Information Commissioner. Therefore, the issue of reducing the autonomy of information commissions is not raised, the minister added.

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