Only Rs 77 lakh spent to promote RTI Act

The Centre has spent only Rs 77 lakh on promotion of the Right to Information Act in the country during first 7 months of the current fiscal.

Last Updated: Nov 30, 2010, 19:06 PM IST

New Delhi: The Centre has spent only Rs 77
lakh on promotion of the Right to Information Act in the
country during first 7 months of the current fiscal, as
compared to nearly 5 crore rupees spent in last fiscal for
the purpose.

The Department of Personnel and Training has said it had
spent Rs 1.19 crore during 2008-09, Rs 4.91 crore during
2009-10 and Rs 77 lakh during 2010-11 (till November 2).

The information was provided in an RTI reply to activist
S C Agrawal.

Even 5 years after the transparency law was
implemented in the country, experts feel that a majority of
people are still not aware about it.

First Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah
had earlier this year said that the awareness level in rural
areas about the Act was only 10 per cent compared to 30 per
cent in urban areas of the country.

He had also said that there was a need to increase
awareness among people which would help widen the base of RTI
users and enforcing transparency in the governance.

The Department of Personnel and Training, which is the
nodal office for the implementation of the Act, has quoted an
independent study saying 13 per cent of rural population and
33 per cent of urban population are aware of the RTI Act.

It said there has been a lack of initiative on the part
of the appropriate governments in the propagation of the Act.

The department, in a reply in the Lok Sabha in August,
had said that awareness generation about the Act is one of the
several areas where working of the Act needs to be
strengthened.

PTI