Rajasthan prepares public services bill

August 24th, 2011 - 10:45 pm ICT by IANS  

Jaipur, Aug 24 (IANS) At a time when Anna Hazare’s campaign against graft has taken centrestage, the Rajasthan government has come up with a bill to make bureaucracy in the state more responsible and accountable to the common man.

The state cabinet, in a meeting held at the chief minister’s office here Wednesday, gave approval to the Rajasthan Guaranteed Delivery of Public Services Bill, 2011 for more effective delivery of public services.

The meeting was presided over by Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot. It has been decided that the bill will be presented in the current session of the assembly.

“The state government is going to ascertain that administration is made more active and responsive,” Gehlot told IANS.

According to a government release, initially 53 services of 15 government departments have been included in the bill. More services would be added later on.

Penalty of Rs.500 to Rs.5,000 or disciplinary action has been proposed if a government official does not provide time bound service. Penalty would be deducted from the officials’ salary.

A person can file application for specific service and receive a receipt. The concerned official would ensure that the service is provided in a time bound manner.

If the service can not be delivered, then the application would be rejected, citing proper reasons. If unsatisfied, the applicant can file appeal to the first Appellate Authority within 30 days. The authority can give directions to the official of the concerned department to deliver the service or take decision to reject the application.

If the application is rejected in the first stage, then the applicant can file appeal to the second Appellate Authority within 60 days, which can then issue orders to the concern official and impose penalty.

The services included in the proposed bill are related to electricity connection, police verification for passport, driving license and its renewal, issuing disability certificates, water connection, providing copies of official documents, caste services, birth or death certificates, and other services.

The state government’s initiative has been welcomed by people, but they say the government should be serious in implementing it.

“The government seems to have come up with a good law to check laid-back attitude of the bureaucracy. But the onus should be on its implementation,” said R.K. Sharma, a lawyer.

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