RTI Act Needs to be Extended to Private Sector Corporates

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Bengaluru: SCOPE (Standing Conference of Public Enterprises), the apex professional organization of Central Government PSEs, organized a Symposium on “Right to Information Act, 2005 for CPSEs” Bengaluru, here today.  Mr. Arup Roy Choudhury, Chairman, SCOPE and CMD, NTPC inaugurated the Symposium while Mr.  A.K.M. Nayak, State Chief Information Commissioner, Karnataka, delivered the Keynote Address. Dr. U.D. Choubey, Director General, SCOPE, and Mr. O.P. Khorwal, Convenor, RTI Steering Committee, SCOPE and GM (CP) & CPIO, NTPC also addressed the Symposium.

Dr U.D. Choubey, DG, SCOPE in his address emphasized the need of level playing field between public and private sector corporates.  He said Right to Information Act (RTI), applicable to PSEs, must be extended to private sector corporates in the  services sectors, particularly, infrastructure sector,  hospitals, education etc for bringing transparency in dealing.

Dr. Choubey said that CPSEs are already part of implementation of the regulatory norms applicable to government entities.  Most of the enterprises have adopted highest standards of corporate governance, transparency and ethical business practices and are adhering to various government policies and guidelines. He cautioned that PSEs being the commercial entity, should be careful in providing strategic information which could reach their competitors.
While complimenting PSEs, DG, SCOPE said  it is a matter of pride that in the post liberalization era, Central PSEs are earning a net profit of around Rs 1 lac crore, and contributed over Rs 1,30,000 crore annually to the central exchequer by way of duties, taxes and dividend.

Mr. A.K.M. Nayak, State Chief Information Commissioner, State of Karnataka, in his Keynote address said RTI Act has come to stay. He stressed on prompt response and monitoring of application. He emphasised on the necessity of categorization and indexing and retention of records.

He finally stated on training of officers and informed that documentation maintenance are very important for effective implementation of RTI.

Mr. Arup Roy Choudhury, Chiarman SCOPE and CMD NTPC Limited in his address encouraged all the participants to freely particpate in the Syposium by expressing their view points. RTI is about a transparency, accountability and fairness. He stated that we should organize ourselves in such a way whether RTI Act is there or not we should take decisions based on ethical considerations. RTI Act cautions us to take decisions in the interest of the organisation.

Follow ISO principle Say What You Do, Do What You Say. He also suggested that an advisory group of former CMDs of CPSEs be constituted for informal interaction on RTI related issues.

Mr. O. P. Khorwal, Convenor, RTI Streeing Committee in his vote of thanks assured to address all the issue & concern raised by the speakers and to delegate during the programme. The suggestions from the recommendation as come out of the Symposium shall be framed to CIC and DOPT Govt. of India for their considration.

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