The Delhi government abolished on Tuesday 200 categories of affidavits required to apply for a variety of public services and allowed citizens to self-attest documents for such applications, drastically reducing the red tape that often impedes access to municipal utilities.
The new regime will come into effect from December 1 and will cover, among others, income, marriage, caste, domicile, disability, driving registration or correction of birth or death certificates.
“Till now, an applicant was forced to run around the notary’s office for affidavits that were routine in nature. The government has decided to do away with 200 categories of affidavits to prevent people from unnecessary harassment and financial burden,” deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia told reporters.
The decision was taken at a cabinet meeting chaired by chief minister Arvind Kejriwal. The government also announced a provision for stringent punishment of anyone giving wrong declarations.
Most government departments, local bodies and other agencies seek documents attested by a notary or a gazetted officer to avail public services.
But such processes often allow corruption to fester and are time-consuming. As a result, simple procedures take months to clear.
Officials said the government decided to do away with many affidavits as they were routine in nature and only around 40 have been retained.
“Only those affidavits that are mandatory according to laws passed by the Parliament or the Delhi assembly have been retained. Around 20 such affidavits are mandated under Central government laws while another 15-20 would continue under the state government,” said Sisodia.
The cabinet also asked the administrative reforms department to examine what other affidavits could be done away with by taking the consent of the Delhi assembly, an official said.