Government has dropped the move to amend the Right to Information Act in the current session of Parliament to keep out of public purview file notings in some areas.
Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Suresh Pachauri said that following a decision taken by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the amendment bill was not likely to be introduced in the current session of Parliament concluding on July 25.
He said there have been considerable apprehensions about the proposed changes and clarifications in the Right to Information Act. Congress President Sonia Gandhi and the Prime Minister have received several representations in this regard and it has been decided that the issue should be first discussed with all stakeholders, he said.
In view of this, Pachauri said, the bill to amend the RTI Act was not likely to be introduced during the current session of Parliament as decided by the Prime Minister.
Officials sources said when the previous NDA government brought the Freedom of Information Bill in 2004 all the file notings were exempted from public disclosure. Similar acts in states also exempted file notings.
Recently, the sources said, the centre had said that notings of officials on social and developmental issues would be made public and this would cover 85 per cent of all notings.
However, other notings were kept out of purview of the RTI Act because of the apprehensions voiced by some government institutions and bureaucracy that it would impede decision-making process.
Sources said President APJ Abdul Kalam was also believed to have expressed reservations about making all notings public because officials should be able to record their views frankly.
Govt develops cold feet on amendments to RTI Act : HindustanTimes.com
Coimbatore: The Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission (TNERC) has directed the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board (TNEB) to pay compensation to consumers who waited beyond 30 days for new connections.
The TNEB was facing acute shortage of single-phase meters in the State for the last few months and even for domestic consumers the connections were released only after two to three months.
When the consumers were willing to provide meters for their new connections to avoid the delay, the TNEB refused to provide connections stating that the meters provided by the consumers should have ten years guarantee which was not offered by any dealer.
The secretary of the Coimbatore Consumer Cause (CCC), K. Kathirmathiyon, represented the same to the Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission.
As per the Regulation 21 of the Distribution Standards of Performance (DSOP) notified by the TNERC, in the event of non fulfilment of stipulated standards for effecting new service connections (i.e., within 30 days), a compensation of Rs. 100 a day with a maximum of Rs 1,000 should be given to the affected consumers. The regulation clearly specified that the compensation should be paid to the affected consumers automatically but the TNEB had not implemented the rule.
Following a representation to the TNERC, it has now directed the TNEB Chairman to pay compensation to all eligible consumers automatically through credit entry in the consumption bill as stipulated in Regulation 22 of the DSOP. Even by conservative estimates several thousand consumers have to be paid compensation to a tune of few crores. Even though the waiting period has now been reduced drastically by sourcing meters from various places, still there are consumers waiting for more than 30 days to get a connection.
Consumers who waited for more than 30-days and are eligible for compensation could approach respective section offices for getting a credit entry into their consumption account. If any of the eligible consumer was not given compensation by the TNEB, he/she could prefer complaints with higher officials of the Board or could represent the same to the Electricity Consumers Redressal Forum of the circle.
The Hindu : Tamil Nadu News : Regulatory body asks TNEB to compensate consumers