Lok Satta

Thursday, 07 March 2013 11:48

Dr.JP Welcomes Union Cabinet's Nod for Citizens' Right to Services

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Lok Satta Party national President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan today expressed supreme happiness over the Union Cabinet approving a Bill to provide time-bound services to citizens.

The Right of Citizens for Time-Bound Delivery of Goods and Services and Redressal of their Grievances Bill provides for time-bound delivery of services like pensions, passports, ration cards, caste, birth and death certificates to citizens. Defaults will attract a penalty of Rs 250 a day subject to a maximum of Rs 50,000.

Describing the Bill as the culmination of efforts mounted by the Lok Satta party for 15 long years, Dr. JP said the measure is much more revolutionary than the right to information and constitution of Lokpal and Lokayuktas in that it totally transforms the relationship between the citizen and the public servant.

In a media statement, Dr. JP recalled that the Lok Satta had embarked on the mission to ensure services to citizens as a matter of right way back on October 2, 1998. On that day, the Lok Satta submitted a People's Charter to the then Governor C. Rangarajan seeking delivery of 36 services in a time-bound manner. Following its efforts, the State Government in 2001 ushered in a citizen's charter in regard to five services in municipalities and implemented it for some time.

Dr. JP pointed out that the right to services is the No. 1 demand of the Lok Satta Party's Surajya movement launched in August 2012. It may be recalled that Dr. JP had observed a three-day fast in December 2012 on Surajya and enlisted the support and solidarity of almost all parties.

As a follow-up, a Lok Satta delegation appeared before the Parliamentary Committee and requested it to adopt a Bill on citizens' services. The committee requested it to draft the Bill bringing about convergence between delivery of normal and electronic services. The Lok Satta drafted the Bill and submitted it to the Parliamentary Committee and the Union Government. Dr. JP met the Union Law Minister last month and requested him to ensure its introduction in Parliament.

Dr. JP appealed to all parties to ensure that the Bill is applicable to both the Union and State Governments. In fact, most of the services pertain to State and local Governments, he underlined.