RTI should be a right to question government: Modi

New Delhi, Oct 16: The Right to Information should not be limited to right to know but it should empower every citizen to question those in power, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said today, as he urged that RTI applications be processed in a timely and transparent manner.

Addressing the inaugural session of 10th convocation of Central Information Commission, Modi said the foundation of democracy is that even the most ordinary citizen has the right to question the government.

Narendra Modi

"It is correct that in Right to Information even most common person has the right to know. But it should not limited to that. He should have the right to question those in power and this the foundation of democracy," Modi said.

He stressed on "proactively" bringing transparency in the working of the government saying the faster "we move towards transparency", the stronger will be the faith of people in democracy.

"The awareness of people gives strength to government and not only government, an aware society becomes an asset to the nation...," he said.

The Prime Minister said the process of accessing information should be transparent, timely and trouble-free. "Delayed information does not help solve the problem but increases it. Timely information can halt a wrong decision. We will emphasize this," he said.

Highlighting the ambitious Digital India programme, the Prime Minister said the scheme is complementary to the spirit of RTI as the more things become online, the more transparency comes in. He also stressed that RTI should be used to bring improvement in governance.

"If a question is asked by a citizen, there must be some issue in government for which the need for question arose. A small RTI question can force you to change policy," he said.

He said there should be trust between the government and the people and it comes through transparency.


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