Former Deputy Chief Minister and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal on Monday asked the new Congress government to encourage good governance to continue the development narrative in Punjab.He also asked Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh not to indulge in petty politics like proposing to wind up the Right to Service (RTS) Commission. He said it was shocking that a move was afoot to wind up the RTI Commission which had removed sloth from government offices and jolted public servants to perform at the pain of penalty.“Any attempt to wind up this Commission and dilute the stringent clauses which have been implemented by the Commission to ensure hassle-free efficient service to the people will be a regressive and anti-Punjabi step,” he added. It has been learnt that the new Congress government wanted to remove the penalty clause which was enforceable in case government servants did not provide services according to designated time lines, he said.
“This will take the bite out of the new proposed body and make it a toothless tiger,” he said while condemning another proposal to make a senior bureaucrat the appealing authority instead of RTI commissioners. He said it would not be possible for bureaucrats to take strict action against fellow officers or get their penalties recorded in their service books. A canard was also being spread by vested interests that the RTI Commission did not have any work.He said that the truth of the matter was that the Commission had processed 36,000 cases in the last six years. It has also awarded punishment to 90 officers. The Commission had also held mobile courts to settle disputes near the homes of complainants besides holding awareness sessions to make the people aware of their rights. The Commission has put people first and does not charge any fee and even awards the penalty amount to complainants in some cases to compensate for the harassment caused to them.
Stating that valuable time would be lost in trying to wind up the Commission which was difficult as it was a statutory body and courts elsewhere had discouraged such practices, he asked the new government to work instead to improve the functioning of the Commission. When the Commission started functioning it provided 67 services. Now it is providing 351 services. This can be further expanded and creating systems like the RTI Commission had also reduced corruption” he said..
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