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Sindh Assembly Passes Bill to Empower Citizens

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Published: March 15, 2017 04:22 pm

ISLAMABAD: The Provincial Assembly of Sindh passed the Right to Information Bill with amendments recommended by the Select Committee. The much-awaited bill ensures access of citizens to public information under the control of government department(s).

The House unanimously passed the Sindh Transparency and Right to Information Bill, 2016 during sixth and last sitting of the Sindh Assembly’s 30th session. The 26-page report of the Select Committee was drafted by lawmakers representing all political parties in the provincial assembly and was presented by Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Nisar Ahmed Khuro in the House on Monday.

The Right to Information Bill paved the way for formation of Sindh Information Commission within 100 days of the Governor’s assent to the law and its publication in the official gazette.

Under this landmark bill, any citizen can seek information – subject to some exceptions provided in the bill – from any public institution by filing a written information request and the concerned department will ensure provision of the requested information within 15 working days to a month. Failure in providing the requested information by the concerned government official within given period is a punishable offence. The bill also bars the government official(s) from holding back, tempering or sharing bogus information to the citizen.

The RTI law will repeal the Sindh Freedom of Information Act, 2006 and provide citizens the access to information in all matters of public importance which is their constitutional right under Article 19-A of the Constitution of Pakistan. The citizens have now the opportunity to hold the government and its institutions accountable, in a bid to promote transparency and good governance, eliminate corruption and ensure implementation of the rules and regulations in the province.

Posted by on March 15, 2017. Filed under Featured Stories,Latest Post,Legislation Sindh Assembly,News,Sindh Assembly. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.