Rahman Khan calls for transparency in governance

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Kuala Lumpur, Aug 8 (UNI) Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman Rahman Khan today emphasised the critical importance of transparency in governance decision-making and accountability of decision makers for their actions.

Addressing the 54th Commonwealth Parliament Conference here, he said public opinion had assumed ''unprecedented importance'' in policy-making, particularly in legislative process.

Civil society engagement, therefore, had become a vital component and a powerful force guiding elected representatives in legislatures, he said.

Mr Khan, who is a member of the Indian Parliamentary delegation attending the Conference in Malaysia from August 1-10, was speaking on 'Parliament and Civil Society : Engagement for Better Policy-Making.' The delegation is led by Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee.

He said an active and close interface between different segments of civil society and elected representatives, helped in assimilating information from variety of perspectives for formulating, implementing and monitoring public policies and programmes.

Civil society's influence on decision-making processes promotes, among other things, human rights, democracy, social capital, centralised governance, efficient and sustainable use of resources, equity and social justice.

This relationship would be effectively utilised only if it is a two-way process--civil society to legislature and from legislature to civil society.

''When these conditions manifest, effective participation and emowered participatory governance becomes a reality,'' he added.

Another significant aspect of this relationship is the awareness and sensitivity of people about their rights and duties vis-a-vis the administrative machinery.

About the Indian scenario in this regard, Mr Rahman Khan underscored the issues facilitating closer interaction between Parliament and civil society.

He highlighted the active role played by civil society groups, particularly NGOs, in formulating and implementing various government schemes funded by multi lateral and bilateral aid agencies.

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