Indians living abroad will now be able to file any query with hassle free payment facility
Shivangi Narayan | January 3, 2013
The Department of Posts (DOP) along with Department of Personnel and training (DoPT) will launch the e-IPO facility by January 15th, 2013 though it may extent maximum to January 25th, 2012. Through this facility Indians living abroad will be able to pay for their RTI applications through e postal orders (e-IPO) which they will be able to purchase with their debit and credit cards.
Sujata Chaudhry, GM (BP), Dak Bhawan, New Delhi told Governance Now that the work is going on in the project but refused to put a date on the project.
Commodore Lokesh Batra (Retd.), Social and RTI activist said, “The idea is to bring more and more transparency through easy access of information.” Batra has been the leading force behind the campaign to provide easier access to RTI facility for Indians living abroad.
The scheme to provide e-IPO to purchase Rs 10 postal orders online was flagged by the central government in May 2012. The scheme was announced as postal orders of Rs 10, which is the required minimum fee for an RTI application, were not easily available. This made it very difficult for Indians abroad (those with a valid Indian Passports and not PIOs) to seek information under the transparency law.
According to Batra, Indians living abroad presently have to ask their friends in India to pay the required fee for RTI to submit an application. This does not allow them to seek answers to various queries related to governance which they might have. “A lot of money from such Indian citizens is invested in various government projects in India; not being able to file an RTI means that they are not able to check if their money is being put to correct use,” he said.
Under the above scheme, the e-IPO or a postal order in common parlance can be easily purchased by the applicants living abroad using their credit or debit cards. When a person will buy this e-IPO, a number will be generated which the applicant will have to mention on his application.
This number and other details will be matched with the details present on the department of posts. The application will be accepted once the details match.
The Public Information Officers (PIO) will not receive the money but it will be transferred to the consolidated fund of India.
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