Right to Information (Amendment) Bill
The Lok Sabha passed the Right to Information (Amendment) Bill on July 22. It was introduced by the Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Mr. Jitendra Singh, in the Lok Sabha on July 19, 2019.
What is the Right to Information (Amendment) Bill?
- Right to Information (Amendment) Bill seeks to amend the Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2005.
- As per the RTI Act, the Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) and Information Commissioners (ICs) are to implement the provisions of the act are appointed at the national and state level respectively.
- The RTI Act also states that appointed CIC and other ICs will hold office for a term of five years however the new bill has removed this key provision and has stated that the central government will separately notify the term of office for the CIC and the ICs.
- While the earlier RTI Act had stated that the salary of the CIC and ICs would be equivalent to the salary paid to the Chief Election Commissioner and Election Commissioners, respectively and the salary of the CIC and ICs of the state must be equivalent to the remuneration of the Election Commissioners and the Chief Secretary to the state government, the newer Bill plans to change by giving the power of determining the salaries, allowances, and other terms and conditions of service of the central and state CIC and ICs to the central government.
The RTI Act stated the salary of the CIC/ICs would be provided after reducing the pensions (if any they received) for any past government service. It defined the past government service to include any employment under the central or state governments or any corporation established under a central or state law, and government company owned or controlled by the central or state government. The new Bill has removed these provisions.