PM wants officials to be proactive in voluntary disclosure of info

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New Delhi, Nov 3 (UNI) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today called upon public authorities to be more active in voluntary disclosure of information to the public, so as to help in decentralisation of power.

''Information is power, and through the Right to Information (RTI) Act we are attempting decentralisation of power,'' Dr Singh said inaugurating the third Annual Convention of the Central Information Commission here.

The two-day Convention would attempt at an assessment of working of the Act both by the Government and the Civil Society. Lok Sabha speaker Somnath Chatterjee will address the valedictory session.

The theme of this year's convention is 'RTI and its Ramifications for Good Governance'.

The Prime Minister sought to underline that transition from the culture of secracy to the culture of openess was not easy as it required not only infrastructure but also change of mindset.

He noted with satisfaction that as per the media reports, the benefit of the RTI Act was reaching the people. Now many disputes and grievances regarding day-today matters affecting the common man, like the issue of ration card and getting electricity connection were resolved through a mere RTI application.

Quoting statistics, Dr Singh said, the rejection of RTI applications had gone down to four per cent this year as compared to previous years, and this coupled with the information already provided by PIOs and Appellate authorities made a large number of information available to the public, all of which showed that slowly the Act was proving its efficacy.

He, however, noted that there was concern that the public authorities were still shying away from public disclosure and they should be more proactive to disclose the information.

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