The Centre is preparing to propose an amendment to the 2005 Right to Information Act (RTI) in the forthcoming monsoon session which will commence from July 18. According to reports, the government is only planning to revise the salaries of the RTI officers but the opposition, activists are of the concern about the transparency which this law provides to the democracy. The amendment to the 2005 Right to Information act is listed to be taken up in the upcoming monsoon session, will only be focussed on increasing salaries of the RTI officers.
According to 2005 RTI act, the salary of Chief Information Commissioner at the Centre has the same salary as that of Chief Elections Commissioner but it varies when Chief Election Commissions salaries are compared to Information Commissioners in the states, therefore, the proposed amendment is to revise the salaries of the RTI officers.
Meanwhile, reports say that Department of Personnel and Training is of the view that the proposed amendment may not be a good move as it is not right to compare salaries of Elections Commissioners with Information Commissioners. At the same time, activists are of the concern that bringing salaries of RTI official under State and Central governments would not be a good idea as the officers could be influenced to give a required information.
Speaking on the issue, an RTI activists Anjali Bharadwaj applied for an RTI to seek information about the proposed amendment bill. The activist sought information from the Department of Personnel and Training but did not receive any crucial information as the reply from the department said that since the bill was still formulated, the entire information cannot be shared.
Several activists have also raised the issue that the government should have consulted masses before preparing for the amendments to the RTI Act 2005.