Lok Sabha okays Right to Information (RTI) Amendment Bill, 2019; Opposition slams move

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The Lower House of the Parliament, Lok Sabha, on Monday, cleared the bill approving changes in Right to Information, amid massive of Oppositions that alleged that it was an attempt to undermine the law and make the transparency panel into a “toothless tiger”.

Speaking in the Lok Sabha, Minister of State (MoS) Jitendra Singh said the amendment in the bill is aimed at institutionalization, streamlining and ease of delivery of RTI Act.

The Bill was passed in the Lok Sabha with 218 members voted in favor while 79 in opposition. Following which members of the opposition parties staged a walkout. The Bill was later passed by voice vote.

Further speaking in the lower house of the parliament, Jitendra Singh said that the Chief Information Commissioner‘s status is regarded at par with the Chief Election Commissioner, which becomes equal to Chief Justice of India.

The Minister of State (MoS) also asserted the confidence that members will respect the spirit through which the bill has been brought up by the Government. He also assured all the members that the government, with an open mind, will look into all the suggestions.

READ: Amid Opposition protest, Union Government introduces RTI Amendment Bill in Lok Sabha

Earlier, The Central Government on Friday tabled the RTI Amendment Bill 2019 in the Lower House of the Parliament amid the opposition protest. The Right to Information Amendment Bill sought to allow the Union Government to decide on the term and salaries of state and central information commissioners.

Earlier on Friday, Minister of State (MoS) slammed the previous United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government was enacting the law in 2005 without adding proper rules. MoS said that the present government is committed to transparency and the commitment should not be questioned.

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