Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Bihar CM Nitish Kumar ready to introduce Right to Service Bill

Police verification report for passports in seven days, postmortem report in three days and caste certificate in a fortnight! And if there is a fault in your electricity connection, it will be repaired within four hours.
All this sounds unbelievable for an Indian state notorious for corruption and red tape over the years. But then, the Nitish Kumar government in Bihar is ready to introduce the Right to Service Bill during the Budget session of the assembly that began on Tuesday. The Bill seeks to weed out graft and bring about transparency in governance.
The draft Bill proposes to make it mandatory for state officials to get the work of the common man done within a specific timeframe or face a penalty of up to Rs 5,000.
The chief minister has already held two rounds of meetings over the draft Bill.
"Under its provisions, public utility services will be provided to the people within a stipulated timeframe," he said. "If government employees or officials fail to ensure that, they will have to pay penalty."
Nitish said people would no longer have to run around offices greasing the palms of employees to get their work done once the Right to Service Act was enacted in the state.
According to sources, the state government may also constitute a State Public Service Delivery Commission for achieving the objectives of the proposed Act. The draft Bill includes all those services for which people run from pillar to post for days.
The Bill proposes to impose a fine of Rs 250 per day that can go up to Rs 5,000, which will be deducted from the salaries of the defaulting employees.
The Bill also has provisions for the aggrieved party to go for appeal. Any person, whose application is rejected or who is not provided the service within the stipulated time limit, may file an appeal to the first appeal officer within 30 days.
The first appeal officer may order the designated officer to provide the service within the specified period or reject the appeal, after which the person can go for a second appeal.
Quick service
  • 7 days police verification for passports
  • 3 days postmortem report
  • 30 days new electricity connection
  • 4 hours electricity fault repair in urban areas
  • 24 hours electricity fault repair in rural areas
  • 30 days scholarships in academic institutions
  • 30 days caste, income, residential certificates (15 days if recommended by employee)
  • 30 days licence to open retail shop for seeds
  • 30 days driving licence, renewal
  • 60 days new ration card
  • 45 days new holding tax

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