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  1. #113
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    Re: Suggestion for improvement of RTI Act and it's functionality


    True, just because online transaction will require some commission doesn't mean we should not have online system. Please note that online/credit card system is not meant to replace other modes of payment. Unfortunately India is a land of extreme economical and educational diversity. We cannot have a one shoe fits all approach. We should have as many modes of payment as suits our public.

    Of course best solution of all is to not have any fee at all. It is really frustrating that after more than 3 years the infrastructure required for implementing the RTI Act is still in its infancy.



    Quote Originally Posted by sandeepbaheti View Post
    What's the problem with that? For DD also banks charge a commission and even for IPO there is a commission.



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  2. #114
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    Sandeep Baheti
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    Re: Suggestion for improvement of RTI Act and it's functionality


    Concerns regarding security are valid but may be that can be assigned to a single agency for all public authorities. Anyways, when demand of special RTI stamp has not yet been addressed, introduction of credit card for payment of RTI fees seems to be a far fetched idea.
    Last edited by sandeepbaheti; 14-02-09 at 11:30 PM.

  3. #115
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    Arun Agrawal
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    Re: Suggestion for improvement of RTI Act and it's functionality


    Dear all:

    My own gut feeling is that this problem could possibly be addressed by the Post Offices/Petrol and Gas outlets and petty hawkers (who sell Passport application forms and charge some money as service charges ) selling pre-paid nicely designed and numbered RTI application forms on carbonless paper in duplicate , similar to registered envelopes sold by Post Offices where stamps are already affixed/printed . We can buy/stock a few forms and use them whenever needed or else can lend them to our friends or neighbours who might be in need of them . Or else these can also be sold through Resident Welfare Associations, wherever they exist . I am scheduling a meeting with the CIC this week and will discuss this with him .

  4. #116
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    C J Karira
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    Re: Suggestion for improvement of RTI Act and it's functionality



    There was a suggestion made by someone from Maharashtra (I think from Pune) that application fee should be also accepted by way of Postal Stamp, stuck to the application. Those are the easiest and most user friendly.

  5. #117
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    Arun Agrawal
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    Re: Suggestion for improvement of RTI Act and it's functionality


    I agree entirely . Actually the best way would be to affix a special RTI stamp -and pending its issue - to affix Rs. 10 postal or revenue stamp- on the Application Form.
    Then there would be no need to submit proof for payment of the RTI fee, nor to
    stand before another counter to pay the fee and attach a photocopy of the receipt with the Form ( as practised in some of the Public Authorities ) .

  6. #118
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    Re: Suggestion for improvement of RTI Act and it's functionality


    1. Credit Card: Almost all Public Authorities have accounts in State Bank of India and/or its subsidiary or partner banks. SBI system uses best electronic transfer technologies. The State Bank of India group has enormous outreach.
    Not all public authorities are required to setup a separate website, this can done at a central level, e.g. by DoPT or by CIC. Having an online system has several advantages like, time saved in queues for DD/IPO/BC, time and cost of travel to that location, and if they want a premium its worth it.

    2. Payment by Phone/SMS: For small payments paying through your phone accounts is not a new thing. I guess you can do it within Rs 5 premium. The CIC or DoPT can establish a computerized phone line, any call to it will be charged 15 rs minimum, and after calling the caller dials in a unique code to direct the payment to to any public authority, he can get receipt by SMS or may note down transaction number by hand. The money so collected by CIC may be transferred to the concerned public authorities on an annual basis after the required annual RTI reports are received at CIC. This system with minimal cost can be integrated with a website on which applicant can fill in application and save it, then dial the number make payment and submit the applicaiton online. Low cost yes... may be entirely free if marketed properly.. remember the TATA Tea Jagore Ad... Public Private Partnership, may be TATA Indicom can get in here. I myself can single handedly setup such a system in less than 100 days. Even the cheap phone-sex companies use such technologies.

    3. Pre-paid form (as suggested by Arun), it will have its own inventory, printing, transport and accounting cost, but by no mean it implies that we do not need it. In some far flung places it may prove to be only option. There is a risk of forging but I will be happy if lot of them are forged, if forging happens it will serve as a testimony to success and popularity of RTI.

    4. "masses who really require RTI assistance": I will like to avoid stereotyping RTI act as something which helps to get your ration card, pension, and street cleaning. RTI is needed by everybody, different classes of people use it for different purpose. Apart from the grass root use of RTI, intelligentsia, NGOs and news reporters can use RTI creatively to make the governance more accountable.



    Quote Originally Posted by arun_agrawal View Post
    Sandeep: It is clear that you do not understand the entire gamut of credit card operations .

    The first and foremost requirement is for all the public authorities to set up an e-commerce enabled website . Complete with secure firewalls and VISA verification.

    The second is that masses who really require RTI assistance are not exposed to the culture of credit cards or are not covered under the strict credit card issue criteria .And how many of them would be familiar with "net banking " . Even the most resourceful businessmen that are members of the Rotary Club I belong to, go to the bank to get old fashioned drafts issued for a fee, whereas this (transfer of funds to accounts with other banks or the same bank branches elesewhere ) can be easily done on-line for free .

    The third is that credit card "hacking" technology is fast advancing, so the concerned
    public authorities " websites must have fool proof safeguards in place to prevent cards " being stolen" literally . ICICI Bank, for instance, among all other banks that I and my family have accounts with , is the bank that uses the most secure technology via usage of virtual keyboard , code nos etc etc .

    Keep in mind also, that while an increasing number of populace has access to credit cards, I guess at least 50% or more do not use them via internet with the fear that data may be stolen .

    And finally, my friend, for a credit card operation to be financially viable, you cannot use them to charge sums ranging from Rs.5 to Rs.10 which is the RTI application fee in most cases . Ask experts .

  7. #119
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    Bimal Kumar Khemani
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    Re: Suggestion for improvement of RTI Act and it's functionality


    on the score of application fee I have read all the posts carefully.
    The Postal Order is the most economical way for remitting the fee.
    It is required that a balnk Indian Postal order be accepted by all the Public Authority and let them fill up the name or designation as they like. This will also be a right step for sec 6(1)(b) as provided in the act itself.
    If this is implemented fully, there may not be any problem or have any scope for further discusions if the public authorities becomes sincere in providing informations.
    I have experience that one public authority has got refusal letter with 6 points for refusing the Postal orders, like the Postal Seal is not clear or the signature of the issuing Post Master is not clear etc. etc.
    BIMAL KUMAR KHEMANI
    a CONSUMER and RTI activist
    ALIGARH, U.P.
    ****************************
    Officially Certified A Grade by DoPT

    ****************************

  8. #120
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    Arun Agrawal
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    Re: Suggestion for improvement of RTI Act and it's functionality


    At the Office of the Senior Superintendent of Police, District Gautam Budh Nagar ( U.P.) as well as the District Judge/Civil Judge (S.D.) District Gautam Budh Nagar, they only accept blank crossed Postal Orders as application fees . The concerned staff at the District Judge's Court is still not aware in whose name the Postal Order is to be made out, so it merely remains in his file .

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