Health Min denies RTI on amount of healthcare purchases

COVID-19: RTI plea seeks to know amount spent on equipment purchase; Health Ministry refuses info

The Central government's Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has denied to share the information related to the expenses incurred to combat the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, saying that it has no specific information to provide.

The ministry responded with this unusual reply to a Right to Information (RTI) query filed by Mumbai-based activist Anil Galgali, who had sought the monetary expenses with regards to control and prevent COVID-19 by the Government of India.

In his online query, Galgali had sought the name of the purchased equipment and materials, total amount spent to combat pandemic. After 22 days of filing the query, Department of Health & Family Welfare, in its reply stated that the CPIO deals with the matters relating to HLL Lifecare Limited, a Public Sector Undertaking under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.   

It also said that the Central Public Information Officer is not required to furnish information which requires drawing of interference and/or making of assumption, or to interpret information, or to solve the problem raised by the applicant, or to furnish replies to hypothetical questions.

“The information sought does not come under the definition of information as defined in Section 2(f) of RTI Act, 2005. The CPIO has no specific information to provide,” department further said it its reply.  

Reacting sharply over the unprofessional approach and reply, Galgali said that if it was the matter, then why it took 22 days to reply in denial mode. “It should not only be furnished through RTI, but all the financial details be uploaded on its website, so that no one need to file an RTI to about the expenses,” said Galgali.

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