RTI Amendment Bill deferred to Standing Committee for fair discussion: Narayanswamy

New Delhi, Sept 5 (ANI): Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office (PMO), V Narayanswamy, on Thursday said the RTI Amendment Bill has been referred to a Standing Committee of Parliament to get better inputs and ensure a free and fair discussion.

He said the Bill would now be discussed during the Winter Session of Parliament.

"As far as the RTI Amendment Bill is concerned, the issue of bringing political parties within the preview of the RTI Act as passed by the Central Information Commission on 3rd June 2013. We took it to the Cabinet and the Cabinet in its wisdom decided that political parties should not come under the RTI Act, because as far as the Government is concerned, we considered the entire judgement in detail, and in the House, the discussion will only be focussed," he told media here today.

"But when it goes to the standing committee, it will deliberate on it in a free and fair manner, and apart from that, the discussion will take place in a cool atmosphere. And, I feel a lot of inputs will be given by the Standing Committee for the purpose of enabling the government to bring the amendment into the House. Therefore, the Government has decided that the bill may be referred to the Standing Committee. The Standing Committee will submit its report at the start of the Winter Session of Parliament, and then, we will take it up before the House," he added.

Earlier in the day, a bill seeking to amend the Right to Information (RTI) Act to protect political parties from providing information under the transparency law, was referred to a select committee of Parliament for further consideration.

The Union Cabinet had last month cleared a proposal to amend the RTI Act to give immunity to political parties and negate a Central Information Commission (CIC) order to this effect.

Many RTI activists have opposed the proposed amendments and have questioned why political parties should be kept out of RTI Act's ambit. (ANI)

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