Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Mr. Duty-to-Publish and Mrs. RTI Act

Today’s ET editorial note:

“….Had a Duty-to-Publish policy been in place while this tussle between the secretary and the minister was taking place and being recorded in the files, that wrongheaded policy would have been nipped in the bud. It is time the government delivered on the promise made by the President to the people’s representatives. In fact, the government should supplement a Duty-to-Publish policy with a requirement to subject all major policy changes to public consultation and debate.

The finance ministry is doing precisely that with its proposed Direct Tax Code. Sebi and Trai routinely undertake public consultations before drawing up policy. There is no reason why this should not become standard practice for all policymaking.

President Patil also made another far-reaching promise: “As part of process reform, all proposals to the Cabinet will have to report on how the proposal under consideration will enhance the goals of equity or inclusion, innovation and public accountability.”

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