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PPP entities should be under RTI ambit: Activists

A week after the Planning Commission rejected its proposal, the third National RTI Convention here today said that all PPP entities, political parties, trade unions and NGOs should be brought under the purview of the RTI Act.



Shillong: A week after the Planning
Commission rejected its proposal, the third National RTI
Convention here today said that all PPP entities, political
parties, trade unions and NGOs should be brought under the
purview of the RTI Act.

"Public-Private Partnership (PPP) entities, political
parties, trade unions, NGOs should be brought under RTI
purview. Procedures and rules should be fine tuned to
facilitate access of information from these bodies," said one
of the resolutions in the `Shillong Declaration,` read at the
conclusion of the three-day convention.
Last week, the Planning Commission had shot down a
proposal of the Central Information Commission (CIC) to bring
private entities executing projects under the PPP mode for the
Right to Information (RTI) Act, arguing that it is applicable
on public authority and not on private companies.

Another resolution stated that all political parties
should be declared as public authorities under the Act.
"Election of office bearers, use of funds by political
parties should be transparent. Public representatives should
declare assets and liabilities proactively every year, besides
being transparent in the usage of MP and MLA funds," the
resolution stated.

Besides seeking proper suo moto disclosure under
section 4 of the RTI Act and moral and legal responsibility on
the part of the government and information commissioners to
ensure protection of RTI activists, the Shillong Declaration
called for an anti-corruption commission which can make sure
that the information collected under RTI can be taken forward
and action taken.

"There should be a process by which all legislations
or bills before going through the parliamentary process be put
in public domain and there is public consultation before
enactment. Public views coming from the discussions should be
reflected in the final bill," the declaration read by
environmentalist and RTI activist Shekhar Singh said.

The convention was attended by over 1,000 activists from
across the country.

In another significant resolution, the convention
demanded withdrawal of the exemptions given under Section 24
to security and intelligence agencies which the Declaration
described as "irrational and contrary to national interest".

Transparency of religious institutions and the use of
public money for religious purpose and bringing of government
expenditure under social and public audits were among the
other resolutions adopted in the Shillong Declaration.

The national convention, the first after the enactment of
the RTI, was attended by ex-CJI J S Verma, former Chief
Justice of Delhi High Court A L Shah, former chief election
commissioner J M Lyngdoh, activists Aruna Roy and other noted
RTI activists from across the country.

PTI

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