In a major administrative reform, the Punjab govt has enacted a comprehensive ‘Right to Service Act’ aimed at providing citizen services to people as a right.
“After this with a single stroke, citizen will emerge as the king,” deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal told reporters after a meeting with the State Cabinet, which met in Chandigarh on Tuesday under the chairmanship of chief minister Parkash Singh Badal.He said it was a major stride for the state as far as implementation of administrative reforms were concerned.
The act would ensure timely delivery of services to citizens and the person responsible for any delay could face penalty from Rs 500 to Rs 5000, he said.
“Common man in the state have to tackle many problems to get their government-related works done…there is procedural delays and harassment to people, but now with the act the state became first in the country to provide 67 services in a stipulated time period (one to 60 days),” Sukhbir Singh said.
“The act will be notified within the next 20 days and by July it will be implemented.”
The services covered under the Act include certified copies of all documents at Village-level– record of land rights (Jamabandi), girdawri, mutation, demarcation of land, sanction of water supply/sewerage connection, certified copies of Birth/Death Certificates, registration certificate of vehicles, fitness certificate for commercial vehicle, issue of driving licence and renewal of arms licence, among others.
All kinds of police verifications including passport verification, issue of various certificates such as caste, OBC, income, residence, registration of all kinds of documents, sanction of all social security benefits for old age/ handicapped/ widow would also come under its purview, he said.
The first appellate authority would be the DSP or Incharge of Community Policing Suwidha Centre at the concerned police sub-division while the SSP or Officer Incharge of Community Policing Resource Centre of the concerned police district would be the second appellate authority.
The RTI Act, the deputy chief minister said, was time taking as the aggrieved party could only either write to higher authorities or move court seeking redressal of his grievance.
“Since the courts are already deluged with cases, there is little chance of him/her getting early relief in matters pertaining to something like digging a tube well in a village or constructing a school. This is where the new act will be of help,” he said.