371 services that cover almost all departments under the ambit of the legislation
GN Staff | November 27, 2015
Delhi assembly on Thursday passed the Delhi (Right Of Citizen To Time Bound Delivery of Services) amendment bill, which will make government officials liable to automatic deductions from their salaries in case of delayed delivery to average Delhiites.
This is apart from the introduction of two significant Bills aimed at amending the current provisions governing minimum wages and the conditions of service of working journalists and other newspaper employees.
Among other provisions, the bill prioritizes each government department to put out a “comprehensive citizens charter” within 30 days of its notification, the adoption of the Delhi government’s e-district portal to ensure the transparent and time-bound delivery of citizen-related services within the prescribed time limit and affixing responsibility for delayed discharge of services with Heads of government Departments (HODs).
The amendments also envisage a service performance incentive fund to encourage officials to deliver on time by offering them cash rewards.
At present, there are a total of 371 services that cover almost all departments under the ambit of the legislation that was enacted during the tenure of former Congress Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit. The Aam Aadmi Party government said that the proposed amendments to as many as nine sections under the ambit of the Act sought to rectify the current Act which has put the “entire onus” of getting compensation, fixing the responsibility for delayed services on the citizen.
The Bill envisages entrusting a ‘Competent Officer’, who must not below the rank of a Deputy Secretary, with the purpose of effecting payment of compensation to an individual and recovery of the compensation from the officer or person 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,” an official statement said.
Two other significant bills seeking amendments to the Minimum Wages and the Working Journalists and Other Newspaper Employees Act were also tabled in the house.
Proposed amendments to the first primarily deal with enhancing the penalty as well as making compliance easier for employers by introducing electronic maintenance of records and to ensure that the benefits of minimum wages were actually received by workers.
Amendments to the latter focus on compensation upto five times of the amount of wages due to a journalist or newspaper employee in case a claim is filed under section 17 (1) of the Act and more stringent penal provision under section 18 (1) and 18(1A) which include punishment of imprisonment as well as provisions of enhanced fine which will provide an effective deterrence for the violators of the Act.
However, the imporatnt development is an attempt to change governance in Delhi.
In a move that would add to the acrimony between the Delhi government and the Centre, the AAP government made a legislative bid to curtail the authority of Lieutenant Governor in the Capital.
While introducing the Minimum Wages (Delhi) Amendment Bill, the state government sought to substitute the word 'appropriate government', a term referred to Delhi's L-G, with 'the government of NCT of Delhi'. While the amendment is likely to be rejected by the L-G at a later stage, the state government maintained that Delhi's 'elected' government was the 'appropriate' government and not the L-G.
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