Filing of RTI by Indians abroad to be made easy
7 Mar, 2012
The filing Right to Information (RTI) applications by NRI’s or the Indians who are living abroad will become easy with the Reserved Bank of India responding positively to an online paying option. For filing of a RTI application, the payment of an application fee of Rs. 10/- is mandatory. Payment of the application fee of Rs. 10/- by the RTI applicants is a difficult and tedious process as there is no mechanism for online acceptance. There is no provision in the RTI Act to pay the fee using a foreign currency. It is a cumbersome task for Indians living abroad to file RTI applications as there is no mechanism to accept online applications. The Central Information Commission (CIC) had sought the views of the Ministry of Overseas Affairs and Ministry of External Affairs and later the Department of Personal and Training, which implements the RTI Act was also involved. The postal department suggested to the DoPT that the payment gateway of its ‘ePost’ service can be used to accept the mandatory Rs. 10/- from the Indians living abroad. As per the ‘ePost’ service scheme, an Indian residing abroad can buy electronic forms through the ePost website and the money can be transferred electronically from ePost to the Public Information Officer (PIO) concerned.
However, the actual implementation of the scheme would take some time as the setting up of the IT infrastructure to meet the conditions laid down by the RBI for receiving payment online would take some time.
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