The city government is all set to make its babus not just accountable but also liable to pay for delaying services beyond the official delivery time limit. The `Delhi (Right of Citizen to TimeBound Delivery of Services) Act 2011′ is up for amendment with the government proposing to bring a Bill to ensure “automatic and mandatory“ compensation for people.
The law so far had left it to the applicant to seek the measly compensation–the maximum amount was Rs 200–for the delay caused.Hence, nobody found it worth their while to name and shame the officers responsible in the three years that the law has been in force.
The government now wants the competent authority to ensure that an aggrieved applicant gets the mandatory compensation without seeking it. There are around 370 services on the E-Service Level Agreement platform under the existing Act.
Under the existing law, people can apply online for time-bound services listed under E-SLA. This includes services like new electricity connections and driving licences. The existing Act says issuance of a new driving licence as well as the renewal of an old licence should not take more than a day after filling up of the applications while the discoms should provide new connections within 35 days of application.
Under the proposed amendments, which will be placed before the cabinet next week for approval, and then in the assembly , an applicant will be compensated for every day of delay beyond the guaranteed time limit.Thus, if a certificate meant to be delivered within 15 days is delivered after 20 days, the officer concerned will pay a penalty for the five-day overrun. “And once you get the certificate, you will be notified of the compensation amount for the delay period, and within 15 days the competent authority will submit the amount directly into your ac count,“ the CM said.
The Bill envisages entrusting a `competent officer’ with the task of paying out compensation and recovering the amount from the erring official. “The amount will have to recovered from someone’s salary . From whose account the money is to be recovered is to be decided by the competent authority within three months. And if the authority fails to decide then the amount will be recovered from his account.
The payment of compensation shall be automatic and compulsory for any delay ,a senior government official said. For delays exceeding 30 days, automatic payment will be ensured until resolution, and in cases of non-payment within the prescribed duration, an applicant shall be paid double the amount, the official added.
The chief minister said the amended legislation will ensure both “rewards and penalties“ as officials who perform well and are not complained against will receive “handsome rewards“ from the government at the end of the year.
Once the amendments Bill is passed and notified as law, all the departments will have to prepare citizen charters committing to timelines within 30 days. The charters will be updated regularly by the department heads.
Source: TOI 15 Nov’2015