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RTI, lifeline of democracy: Speaker

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Speaker Devraj Ghimire has described the right to information (RTI) as the lifeline of democracy. In his address to an inaugural session of a function organised on the occasion of the 16th establishment day of the National Information Commission (NIC) here today, the Speaker said, "Still a larger section of population are not aware of the RTI. It is an instrument for promoting transparency in government affairs and maintaining the good governance in the nation." He was of the opinion that public entities are responsibility for increasing public awareness on the RTI and its importance.

Also speaking on the occasion, Minister for Communications and Information Technology, Rekha Sharma, said "RTI is a tool of empowering the citizens, making government activities visible to the public." Stating that the government was committed to implementing the RTI, the Minister added the government is serious about the significance of transparency in its activities, the need of good governance and of efficient service delivery and is working accordingly. "The RTI has its role in creating a base for the effective implementation of the Constitution and laws," said the Minister. "It is also a tool of making the government aware if any wrong moves."

She also reminded that the formation of the Commission was for improving and ensuring the citizens' right to information.

Likewise, Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ) Chair Bipul Pokhrel spoke the need of launching a campaign for effective implementation of the RTI by public bodies. "It has been realised the RTI is the less priority of the government," he said, adding the RTI is a wonderful gift of democracy and is the means of the connecting the citizens with the government.

NIC Chair Mahendraman Gurung stressed the need of effective implementation of the RTI by public bodies. As he said, 136 countries in the world have implemented the RTI, the post- people's movement II achievement. "Transparency in the State affairs and good governance are achievable when RTI is implemented effectively." ---

Source: National News Agency