STATE TIMES NEWS
JAMMU: Governor N.N. Vohra on Wednesday inaugurated a one day Seminar on Implementation of the J&K RTI Act, 2009 here on Wednesday. This seminar was organised by the J&K State Information Commission.
Emphasising the vital importance of the manner in which the “Right to Information” promotes transparent functioning and accountable governance, Governor observed that cleanliness in the functioning of public authorities strengthens trust between the government and people which is essential for sustaining democracy.
Governor stressed that the public authorities, besides responding to applications for information, should pro-actively disclose information, suo moto, by showing it on their websites. He noted that for the effective functioning of the statute considerable improvement needs to be brought about in the manner of maintenance of records in the public offices. Further, there needs to be a significant change in the mindset of the officials so that the traditional secrecy is replaced with openness and transparency, except in matters which need to remain undisclosed in the national interest.
Bimal Julka, Information Commissioner, Central Information Commission, New Delhi, said that transparency and accountability are the pillars of democracy and RTI Act is a step forward in empowering citizens to seek reliable information from the Government.
Khurshid Ahmed Ganai, Chief Information Commissioner, J&K, presented the progress report of the SIC through a power point presentation. He informed that 20,297 RTI requests were received by the Public Authorities during 2016-17 and 394 out of 488 second appeals were disposed off by the SIC in 2017-18 (ending February 2018); during the same period 52 complaints were received by the SIC out of which 8 have been disposed.
B.B Vyas, Chief Secretary, said that implementation of RTI Act is a moral duty of the government and suggested putting in place a framework for close co-ordination between Government departments and the State Information Commission for timely flow of information and redressal of grievances under the Act.
Mohammad Ashraf Mir, State Information Commissioner, presented the vote of thanks on the occasion.
Among those present were many eminent persons and social activists associated with the RTI.
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