Soon, applying for key services from birth certificates to passports to pension schemes may get simpler as government departments get ready to set up desks to help citizens with tips and checks to ensure a hassle-free application process.
The Right of Citizens for Time Bound Delivery of Goods and Services and Redressal of their Grievances Bill — passed by the Union cabinet on Thursday — will make it mandatory for government departments having direct interface with citizens to have such facilitation centres.
Public authorities have to publish a citizen’s charter with details of services and timelines of delivery. An official who does not meet deadline can be fined up to R50,000. The bill is expected to be tabled in Lok Sabha next week.
The bill also addresses the problem of bribes. Harassed consumers can complain to grievance redressal officers (GROs) against staff seeking bribes and GROs are bound to report such complaints and apprise higher authorities about the action taken against the guilty.
A group of secretaries will decide whether the proposed law should be extended to foreigners visiting India.
The BJP termed the bill intrusive. “It becomes mandatory for states to adopt the act... The Centre can at best suggest a model law,” said spokesperson Prakash Javadekar.