Patna, Jan. 14: The citizens of Bihar are upbeat over the Nitish Kumar-led NDA government’s decision to introduce the right to service act in the state. Suggestions on the proposed act from all sections of the society hint so.
The state general administration department (GAD) had posted the copy of the draft of right to service bill on its website and solicited suggestions from people. January 5 was the last date for submitting suggestions. The response from the masses was overwhelming.
“The range of suggestion received shows that people are very keen about this bill and want it to be comprehensive in nature,” GAD principal secretary Deepak Kumar told The Telegraph.
Kumar said people from almost all sections of the society came up with suggestions. “Even people residing in rural areas posted their suggestions. Some Bihar people settled outside the state also sent their suggestions,” he said.
The GAD principal secretary refused to share the details of the suggestions received, saying they would be discussed in the meeting of the department heads on January 21. Chief secretary would chair the meet.
“The principal secretary of the department concerned would be asked to look into the suggestions put forward by people about different services. If required, necessary changes would be incorporated in the draft bill after discussing the matter at the highest-level,” Kumar said, adding that the process of giving final touches to the bill would be completed by the end of this month.
As announced by chief minister Nitish Kumar, the government intends to introduce the bill in the budget session of the state legislature, which generally starts in the third week of February.
The draft bill posted on the website covered almost all the services general people avail frequently. It talked about 17 services to be brought under the purview of right to service at the beginning.
The list includes services related to social security pension, scholarship applications of students, matters related to electricity board, post-mortem reports, caste and residence certificates and income certificate. Issues related to transport department, public distribution system, applications for new ration cards, applications for drug licence, different licences issued by the agriculture department, certificates issued by labour resources department, licence for running brick kiln, licence issued by the forest department for saw mills, police verification report and applications for giving holding number in urban areas will also be included in the act.
This would just be the beginning as the draft bill also has a provision which allows the state government to notify services which would be brought under the purview of the proposed act.
Details like the amount of fine to be imposed on officials failing to deliver the service in stipulated time, designation of the officers who would be made responsible for delivering the services as well as the first and second appellate authorities have also been incorporated in the draft bill.
It also says the penalty imposed will be deducted from the salary of the designated officers, the first appeal office and their subordinate employees concerned.