Who deals with the Export Promotion of Industrial Park (EPIP) scheme?
The appellant filed an application under the Right to Information (RTI) Act with the Ministry of Commerce & Industry (MCI), Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP) & Department of Commerce (DoC) seeking approved copy of the Project proposal and Master Plan of Export Promotion of Industrial Park (EPIP) along with several other related issues. The Public Information Officer (PIO) did not respond to the application. The First Appellate Authority (FAA) of DoC observed that EPIP Scheme of DIPP was subsumed in a new Centrally Sponsored Plan Scheme, viz. Assistance to States for Infrastructure Development of Exports (ASIDE) Scheme. The FAA further stated that if the information sought by the appellant was not available with DoC, the PIO should have forwarded the RTI application to that Department/ Ministry/ Organization where the requisite information could be available. The FAA directed the PIO, to furnish a suitable reply to the appellant and a copy to the MD, Assam Industrial Development Corporation (AIDC). On receiving the RTI application sent by the PIO (DoC), the PIO (DIPP) informed the PIO (DoC) that it was not feasible to confirm whether EPIP Scheme was allocated to this Department. Therefore, he requested a copy of the records showing that the instant subject was earlier allocated to this Department.
During the hearing before the Central Information Commission (CIC), the PIO (DIPP) stated that the EPIP Scheme is being dealt with the Department of Commerce. On the other hand PIO of the Ministry of Commerce stated the EPIP Scheme of DIPP which has subsequently been subsumed in the ASIDE Scheme launched by Department of Commerce and that the project of EPIP does not figure in the list of projects funded in Assam under the ASIDE Scheme. The appellant submitted that his RTI application was forwarded to Assam Industrial Development Corporation (ASIDC) for responding and he received copies of several inter Office Memo, but no reply to his queries was received.
View of CIC
The Commission observed that the appellant has not been provided with requisite information by either of the PIOs of DIPP and Department of Commerce. The CIC remitted the matter to the FAA, Department of Commerce with the direction for de-novo consideration of appellant’s appeal and provide requisite information to the appellant. The CIC also held that if the information is not available with the Department of Commerce the concerned PIO should be directed to provide information to the appellant.
The merry go round of the RTI application is a poor commentary on the state of affairs of the planning and execution of schemes in the country.
Citation: Mr. Bhupan Talukdar v. Ministry of Commerce & Industry Department of IPP & Department Of Commerce in Case No. CIC/SS/A/2012/001446
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2013/CIC/1029
Click here to view original RTI order of Court / Information Commission