Other States

Campaign launched for social accountability law

A State-wide campaign has been launched in Rajasthan for demanding passage of the social accountability law in the next Assembly session, while reminding the Congress government of its commitment to bring the legislation in the 2018 election manifesto. Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot had reiterated his resolve to enact the law in his budget speech in 2019.

Activists pointed out that countless citizens were suffering from an inability to access their rights and have their complaints redressed in a time-bound manner, while there was “no accountability of errant government officials”.

The State government is yet to take an action on the report submitted by a committee in February 2020 along with the draft of the proposed statute.

The committee, headed by former civil servant Ram Lubhaya, strongly emphasised the need for a legal framework to guarantee accountability to the citizens and highlighted the limitations in the existing administrative system which prevented timely delivery of services.

‘Right based approach’

Representatives of Suchna Evum Rozgar Adhikar Abhiyan, who were members of the committee, also made representations. The Abhiyan activists felt that the State government should adopt a rights based approach and ensure delivery of services and redress the citizens’ grievances within a stipulated time frame.

Nikhil Dey of the Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS) said the legislation, as a composite architecture, would empower every person to hold the government institutions and officials accountable to them to deliver their rights as citizens. “Our campaign will raise awareness about the law and take up a sustained advocacy for passage of the Bill in the next Assembly session,” he said.

The draft Bill has incorporated the suggested provisions for transparency in governance, citizens’ participation, public hearing, social audit, information and facilitation centres, decentralisation of the process and establishment of an independent grievance redressal structure.

The mechanism for redressing grievances will start from village panchayats and involve public hearings at the block level.

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Printable version | Dec 5, 2021 5:18:37 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/campaign-launched-for-social-accountability-law/article36660619.ece

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