Comply with RTI Act, officials told

Dont buckle under the pressure from elected representatives

The government servants need not fear for effective enforcement and compliance with the Right to Information Act, said P Shankar Ballekere, the training counsellor of Abdul Nazir Sab Rural Development Institute.

“The strict compliant with the Right to Information Act has sent many a politician to jail. But there has been no instance of any government official suffering punishment. The officials, therefore, need not have any apprehension on enforcing the Act,” Shankar said.  He was speaking at the inauguration of the four-day workshop on implementation of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme.

Shankar said the responsibility of the government official ends once they furnish the information as sought under the Act. However, he cautioned the officials against buckling under pressure by public representatives or favouring them unduly. He said the public representatives may make it a habit if the officials oblige them once.

He said the government had no idea of its properties until “Panchatantra” project was launched. “The panchayat officers were in the dark on the properties owned by their gram panchayat. Now, with the launch of Panchatantra, the details pertaining to assets of any gram panchayat can be accessed from any part of the country,” he said.

Gram Sabhas

Shankar said the workshop was not limited to lectures only. The officials will be taken to Itarasanahalli  in Bangarpet taluk on June 7 where they will have to conduct a Gram Sabha. He said the officials will also be trained in preparing department-wise action plan in co-ordination with various departments. After the completion of the training, the officials will have to conduct Gram Sabhas in their respective taluks, create an action plan and submit it to the Zilla Panchayat.

He said the workshop had been successfully conducted in 18 districts so far with the objective of ensuring effective implementation of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme.

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