Hyderabad: State government officials and employees could face a penalty of up to Rs 10,000 for delay in delivering time-bound services to citizens. In extreme cases, it could go up to Rs 30,000, sources said. The money will be deducted directly from their salary.
These are among the provisions that will be incorporated under the proposed Right to Services Act. The NALSAR University of Law will be drafting the bill.
Staff that complies with the deadlines will be rewarded with increments. Two appellate authorities will be set up to enable citizens lodge complaints against erring officials and staff who fail to deliver important certificates regarding birth, death, caste and income among others on time. Civil courts will have no jurisdiction to hear the petitions against orders given by appellate authorities.
KTR behind the new law
The government wants to enact the law in the Budget Session in March. Already 19 states have such a law. IT minister K.T. Rama Rao is learnt to be actively pursuing the Act and wants the IT department to be the nodal agency for implementation.
A Citizen’s Charter had been approved in undivided AP in 2001 to ensure time-bound delivery of services, but it remained only on the notice boards of government offices.
Such legislation is considered essential in the context of the poor services rendered by government departments. Citizens are forced to run around government offices and Mee Seva centres for weeks and months together to obtain important certificates.
Though the Citizens Charter had provisions to impose penalties ranging from Rs 50 to Rs 250 per day, there was no instance where such a penalty was imposed.
A review of the implementation of the charter showed that the revenue department had fared the worst, followed by the panchayat raj, municipal administration, transport, medical and health, agriculture, cooperation, backward classes, SC welfare, ST welfare, minority welfare, school education and information technology departments....