80 pc reduction in funds spent on RTI publicity

Sunday, Jan 3, 2016,11:52 IST By Metrovaartha A A A

New Delhi | The government has spent only Rs 1.67 crore on promotion and publicity of the country’s flagship transparency law – The Right to Information Act – this fiscal, which is 80 per cent less than last year’s and the lowest since 2008-09.

The measure, which made government files accessible to the common citizen for a fee of Rs 10, received generous funding during the erstwhile UPA government and even during the NDA dispensation last fiscal, according to an RTI response.

In response to an RTI query of Pune-based activist Vihar Durve, the Centre said it had spent Rs 7.30 crore in 2008-09 on ‘Advertising and Publicity’ campaign for the promotion of the transparency law.

In 2009-10, it was Rs 10.31 crore while in 2010-11, the figure stood at Rs 6.66 crore. In 2011-12, the amount went up to Rs 16.62 crore while in 2012-13 it was Rs 11.64 crore and in 2013-14 it was 12.99 crore. In 2014-15 under the BJP-led NDA dispensation, Rs 8.75 crore were spent for the purpose.

In the present fiscal, the amount dropped by 80 per cent as only Rs 1.67 crore have been spent this year, the response from the Department of Personnel and Training, the nodal ministry for RTI implementation, said.