PUNJAB TRANSPARENCY & ACCOUNTABILITY IN DELIVERY OF PUBLIC SERVICES ORDINANCE 2017 GETS CABINET GO-AHEAD


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EX-POST FACTO APPROVAL ALSO GIVEN TO EXTENSION OF BPSSBY TENURE TO MARCH 31, 2018
Chandigarh, December 20, 2017: In a major initiative to ensure delivery of public services to the citizens in a more transparent and accountable manner, the Punjab Cabinet on Wednesday gave its nod to the "Punjab Transparency & Accountability in delivery of Public Services (including electronic service delivery), Ordinance 2017".

With this, the Punjab Right to Service (RTS), Act 2011, which did not provide for mandatory provision for online/digital system to receive citizen’s requests for various services and delivery thereof in a time bound manner, will cease to exist.

The new Ordinance had been drafted after marathon discussions with various stakeholders to understand and ascertain the issues involved in the implementation and compliance of RTS Act, 2011, according to an official spokesperson. Based on the comments and feedback received, the initial draft of the proposed ordinance was revised after incorporating recommendations from various quarters including the Chairman, Punjab Governance Reforms and Ethics Commission.

Among the key features of the Ordinance are: back-end computerization of all public services within three to five years, online receipt of services requests to become mandatory, as well as electronic delivery of services to citizens, in a time bound manner to enhance transparency and accountability.

Other areas of focus relate to inclusion of a healthy system of incentives and disincentives for the public authority and its staff, intimation or tracking of application status by the applicants through mobiles or internet regarding their request, and simplifying redressal/appeal mechanism with faster delivery of justice.

In another decision, the Cabinet gave its ex-post facto approval to extend the tenure of Bhagat Puran Singh Sehat Bima Yojana (BPSSBY) upto March 31, 2018, with a view to providing annual health insurance cover up to Rs. 50,000 to about 29 lakh families. The term of the scheme had expired on October 31, 2017.

Under the scheme, around 300 private and 200 Government Hospitals have been empanelled to provide health benefits to the 29 lakh odd families. The State Government was also working on a plan to cover the entire population of Punjab under Universal Health Insurance Scheme, said the spokesperson, who disclosed that the Health Department was in the process of preparing the design and structure of the Scheme.

Date: 
Thursday, December 21, 2017