JAMMU, DEC 16 – J&K State Information Commission (SIC) organised a round table with RTI activists of Jammu under the Chairmanship of Chief Information Commissioner Khurshid A Ganai, here today.
State Information Commissioner Mohammad Ashraf Mir, Secretary JKSIC AK Pandita, Joint Registrar Gulam Mohi-ud-din, Deputy Secretary Vishwajeet, various senior RTI activists of Jammu region besides senior officers of the Commission were present during the interaction.
During the roundtable, the activists made many suggestions for strengthening the implementation of RTI Act in the state.
Among various suggestions the activists recommended revival of J&K RTI rules 2010 and use of penalty provisions in the RTI ACT by the State Information Commission to penalise the erring Public Information Officers for delay and for providing incomplete information. They also demanded that instructions should be issued by the State Govt and the SIC to impress upon the PIOs and First Appellate Authorities to ensure that the RTI applicants are not discouraged or harassed which is unfortunately the experience of many applicants.
The activists called for greater awareness among the general public for more effective use of RTI to achieve the objectives of transparency, accountability and corruption free governance.
The activists complimented the Chief Information Commissioner for organising the interaction and suggested that such round tables should be organised at district level also to spread awareness among the public at the grass roots level.
The CIC thanked the activists for playing a proactive role in popularising the use of RTI and for the suggestions made by them. He assured that the State Information Commission will give serious consideration to all the suggestions made by them and further streamline the working of the Commission to facilitate expeditious disposal of the appeals and complaints. The CIC informed that the SIC is in constant touch with the State Government and steps are under way to sort out problems coming in the way of smooth implementation of RTI.
The CIC also welcomed the new State Information Commissioner Mohammad Ashraf Mir and hoped that his long and varied experience at senior levels in the government will help the Commission immensely.