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Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Grievance redressal mechanism to tackle graft: Government

NEW DELHI: Against the backdrop of Anna Hazare's call for a fresh anti-corruption campaign, the government today unveiled plans to set up a grievance redressal mechanism to tackle graft in the lower ranks of administration.

"The Citizen's Right to Grievance Redress Bill, 2011 will be introduced in the Winter session of Parliament," Minister of State for Personnel V Narayanasamy told reporters here.

The Bill seeks to cover all the schemes and departments of the Central Government and provide a platform to state governments to implement a similar mechanism for their schemes, he said.

The draft makes it compulsory for every ministry and department to act within 15 days on complaints from the public, failing which an appeal could be filed with a higher authority. This authority will have to dispose of the appeal within 30 days.

It also seeks to impose a penalty on the grievance redressal officer if any complaint is not addressed in a stipulated time frame.

The law will set up a mechanism similar to the Right to Information (RTI) Act, and seek to have a "citizens' charter" to deal with public grievances, Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh said.

Ramesh had been coordinating with the Department of Personnel and Training in finalising the draft Bill.

Under the proposed law, every public authority will have to designate a Grievance Redress Officer (GRO) right from the block level up to the central government.

The GRO will receive and act on grievances from the public on services that they are entitled to under any law or government policy, Narayanasamy said.


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