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Delhi Assembly passes Bill to penalize government officials delaying services

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New Delhi: The Delhi Assembly passed the Delhi Right of Citizen to Time Bound Delivery of Services Amendment Bill, ensuring that government officers who are late in providing services will face a salary deduction.

The passing of this Bill has been described as a “huge victory” against corruption by CM Arvind Kejriwal, who regretted not being present at the Assembly due to poor health.

Every government department will be asked to put out a “comprehensive citizens charter” within 30 days of them being notified. The HODs will be given charge of this.

E-governance platforms will be pushed by the Bill in delivering citizen services because of their greater transparency. Local bodies and government departments are being encouraged to take up this method.

A total of 371 services, covering almost all departments are currently in play under the domain of the Sheila Dixit enacted legislation.

“Congrats Delhi. Del Assembly passes the Delhi (Right of Citizen to Time Bound Delivery of Services) Amendment Bill, 2015 unanimously. A huge victory in our fight against corruption. It is beginning of end of cutting edge corruption that aam admi faces daily in his life,” Kejriwal said in his tweets.

It was the common citizen who bore the “entire onus” of getting compensation for delayed services, according to the Act. The government stated that the recent amendments were carried out to fix this issue.

According to the Bill, a ‘Competent Officer’ –a Deputy Secretary or a higher level official– will be entrusted with the job of paying compensation to the concerned citizen, while also recovering the compensation from the officer responsible.

“It shall be the duty of the concerned competent officer to ensure that the compensation is paid to the applicant within days as prescribed under the rules on which the service is provided failing which the citizen shall be paid double the said amount and it shall be deducted from the salary of the competent authority,” said the official statement, as  quoted by agencies.

Speaking in the Assembly, Manish Sisodia, Deputy Chief Minister, said at the Assembly that due to this legislation being passed, common citizens now wouldn’t have to keep making rounds of officials and MLAs to get their work done.

Vijender Gupta, Opposition leader, who refrained from voting, asked Sisodia how much fine needed to be recovered.

The Amendment also mentions encouraging officials to provide timely service delivery by offering rewards through an incentive fund for service performance.

Next Story

The United States Of America Drops Out Of Top 20 Corrupt Countries

For the 2018 index, 180 countries were surveyed. Denmark and New Zealand topped the list while Somalia, Syria, and South Sudan were at the bottom.

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USA, Corruption
U.S. President Donald Trump is seen through his transparent teleprompter as he speaks during the Missile Defense Review announcement at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, U.S., January 17, 2019. VOA

A global anti-corruption watchdog says the United States has dropped four spots in its list of nations’ anti-corruption efforts and is now no longer listed in the top 20 for the first time.

Acting U.S. Representative at Transparency International, Zoe Reiter, calls a four point drop in the 2018 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) a “red flag.”

She says it comes at a time when the U.S. is experiencing “threats to its system of checks and balances” and an “erosion of ethical norms at the highest levels of power.”

USA. government
Caravans from Central America have inflamed the debate over U.S. immigration policy, with U.S. President Donald Trump using the migrants to try to secure backing for his plan to build a border wall on the frontier with Mexico., VOA

“If this trend continues, it would indicate a serious corruption problem in a country that has taken a lead on the issue globally,” Reiter says.

The United States scored a 71 in the perceptions index after scoring 75 the previous year.

“The expert opinion captured by the CPI supports the deep concern over corruption in government reported by America in our 2017 survey. Both experts and the public believe the situation is getting worse,” Reiter said.

Anti-Corruption
Bulgarian anti-corruption protesters march during a demonstration in downtown Sofia, VOA

Transparency International uses several criteria for measuring how well a country is fighting corruption, including checks and balances on political power, controls on conflicts of interest and private influence on government, and voter suppression.

Also Read: World’s Anti-Corruption Day

For the 2018 index, 180 countries were surveyed. Denmark and New Zealand topped the list while Somalia, Syria, and South Sudan were at the bottom. (VOA)