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Tronic
09 Aug 13,, 07:59
Cabinet gives nod to amend RTI Act, political parties get immunity


The Cabinet on Thursday gave its nod to amend the Right to Information (RTI) Act to keep political parties out of the ambit of transparency law.

The decision to change the RTI Act was taken during a Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, official sources said.

The move followed after the Central Information Commission (CIC) had in June held that six national parties - Congress, BJP, NCP, CPI-M, CPI and BSP - have been substantially funded indirectly by the central government and were required to appoint Public Information Officers (PIOs) as they have the character of a public authority under the RTI Act.

The decision from transparency watchdog evoked sharp reactions from political parties, especially Congress which has been credited with bringing in the transparency law but is opposed to the CIC's directive.

The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), which acts as nodal department for the implementation of the RTI Act, in consultation with Law Ministry decided to amend the law.

The government seeks to change the definition of public authorities mentioned under Section 2 of the RTI Act to keep all recognised political parties out of the jurisdiction of RTI, the sources said.

The government will have to introduce a Bill in this regard in the monsoon session of Parliament beginning Monday, they said.

The Centre's flagship Right to Information Act empowers a citizen to seek time-bound information on all matters of governance by paying a fee of Rs 10.

Cabinet gives nod to amend RTI Act, political parties get immunity - Indian Express (http://www.indianexpress.com/news/cabinet-gives-nod-to-amend-rti-act-political-parties-get-immunity/1149918/)

Amazing how fast all the politicians and political parties unite when it comes to screwing the ordinary public. I guess this means that the information on financial resources and funding of the parties will remain a no-go area for the public. These crooks serve no one but themselves...

bolo121
09 Aug 13,, 09:26
The helpless rage one feels at things like this......
If only one day we could purge them all from power and make them suffer for every hurt they have inflicted on our long suffering people.

Oracle
09 Aug 13,, 12:03
For MMS to chair the meeting giving nod for more corruption is a new political low. I have always been a supporter, but today. I still remember how enthusiastic I was when MMS became the PM in 2004. A noted economist steering India, high GDP figures, decline in poverty, massive job creation were just some of the things in my mind then. Little did I worry then, that PM of India is selected, not elected.

Nothing has changed much from 2004. If anything, corruption has reached zenith, infrastructure is at a crippling point, FIIs are running away and job creation across industries is at an abysmal rate. From handling the Vodafone tax case (retrospective law), to populist measures, to attracting FDI in various sectors - UPA II has been a failure. During UPA I, they got away blaming the Left parties for the state of economy, while conveniently overlooking that it was policies created during the previous NDA rule, that 2004 and 2005 saw higher GDP growth.

This is a man who instead of standing up, silently gives nod to retrograde laws being made in this country and is the same man who Times Magazine aptly called Sonia's poodle. An inept, culpable and spineless leader. Shame on him.

Double Edge
10 Aug 13,, 13:57
Amazing how fast all the politicians and political parties unite when it comes to screwing the ordinary public. I guess this means that the information on financial resources and funding of the parties will remain a no-go area for the public. These crooks serve no one but themselves...
Democracy does not come for cheap. It needs funds to perpetuate itself.

The rules if i quote from Dubey's (BS quotient) book is 16 lakhs for an MLA. It takes much more than that to have a realistic chance at winning the election for an MLA. Even a crore would be tight. But the 16 lakh limit is lpurposely ow so as to make standing for office more accessible for the public. Once they allow larger limits then only the very corrupt and well heeled will be able to stand for office. They will pass laws that suit their interests and the common man is going to be disenfranchised.

So the 'extra', off the books, 'illegal' amount is what we refer to as corruption. But this is legal in western countries. Corporate funding is all out in the open and available for public review. What this eventually leads to much fewer parties than we have. The money coaleseces around two or three parties. The rest don't really stand a chance. Every time i hear corruption rhetoric and how we must do something about it, to me it sounds like a demand for more regulation. More regulation = more chances for corruption. It used to be like this in the past. A million checks & balances every where and any where. We tried to cut out some of that red tape since but there is still a long way to go.

Multi-party is important in India because we have different people with different needs. Multi-party offers choice as opposed to dem/labour vs republican/tory structure you see abroad.

So what am i saying. Funding for political parties needs to continue out of public purview because otherwise we won't be able to sustain our present system. We will have to go in for a two party or whatever system with fewer parties that is the norm in the more advanced countries. Many people would say this speeds up decision making and leads to less gridlock. Does it ? Largely yes but there can still be gridlock, it just does not happen as often. How does it work in Canada, UK, Ireland, Australia & NZ. Anything to learn from these countries ? Our political system is more compatible with them than the US.

You want faster progress or more representation. Pick one.

For me more representation means less explosions in society. I don't have a problem with regional parties. They are not ideal but the least worst option out there. Isn't that how democracy itself is defined :)