New Delhi: The government was able to pass the Right to Information RTI (Amendment) Bill, 2019, through the Rajya Sabha today, thus clearing a major hurdle in enacting the amendments. The bill was passed in the Lok Sabha on Monday. The opposition, however, protested against the amendments and staged a walk out.
The Bill was moved by Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances, and Pensions, Jitendra Singh in the Lok Sabha on Monday.
The government said that the Bill was introduced to streamline and institutionalize the functioning of the information commission. The Opposition tried to refer the bill to the Standing Commission but the government wanted to see the bill passed hurriedly through the House.
The Bill was finally passed with an overwhelming 218 votes while 79 votes were cast against it. The Bill empowers the central government to set the tenure, salaries, allowance, and service conditions of the Information Commissioners both at the Centre and the State. The amendments will make changes to Sections 13 and 16 of the RTI Act, 2005.
The Congress accused the government of being scared to give independence to the RTI and said that the amendment will downgrade the institution and control it.