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The ‘Right of Citizens for Time-Bound Delivery of Goods and Services and Redressal of their Grievances Bill’ was approved by the Union Cabinet at a meeting chaired by Manmohan Singh, India’s prime minister, on Thursday.
The bill envisages a penalty of up to Rs. 50,000 against a government official failing to provide his or her duties, official sources said.
India has witnessed a decade of rapid economic growth but the key challenge that faces policymakers at both central and state levels is to ensure ‘inclusive’ growth.
The new bill lays down an obligation upon every public authority to publish a citizen’s charter, stating that the time within which specified goods shall be supplied and services be rendered.
It also provides for a grievance redressal mechanism for non-compliance of its provisions.
The proposed legislation, led by the department of administrative reforms and public grievances, also mandates a public authority to establish a call centre, customer care centre, help desk and people’s support system to ensure time-bound delivery of services.
According to its provisions, a person aggrieved by the decision of the commission may refer an appeal before the Ombudsman at the Centre (in case of decision by the Centre’s public grievances redressal commission) and the representatives in the states.
All services provided by both the Centre and the State governments will be extended to citizens in a time-bound manner under the bill.
India has only recently started using technology to replace outdated public services delivery systems in the country that are plagued by corruption and hefty leakages.
India’s public service delivery system’s adoption of information and communications technology (ICT) comes with a 20-year lag to the industrialised world.