Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Right to information draft bill submitted

The committed formed by the government to draft right to information bill submitted its draft bill to the government on Wednesday.

The government with an aim of guaranteeing the rights to information had formed the committee a month ago to draft the bill.

The information draft bill has recommended formation of Information Commission to guarantee freedom of information. After receiving the draft bill, Minister for Information Dilendra Prasad Badu expressed his commitment to present it during the upcoming meeting of the Council of Ministers.

Reiterating that the government is committed to securing the people's right to information and press freedom and that it would be presenting the bill to the parliament as soon as the council of ministers approves it.

The draft stated that any public office must publicise all information save those that will be detrimental to the public and has also recommended that a information officer or establishment of an information department for the purpose.

According to the task force member, Kashi Nath Dahal, the draft has also made adequate provisions for the safety of the information provider.

The draft has also made provisions according to which officers of public offices cannot be punished for leaking information regarding corruption within the office.

The government had formed a four-member task force under the coordination of media expert Kashi Nath Dahal after a previous draft prepared the Minister for Information drew widespread criticism from the media workers.

A seminar is underway at the Information Ministry to discuss the draft.

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