Punjab government urged to enact Right to Information law

From Zahid Abdullah of CDPI:

Press Release
Punjab government urged to enact Right to information law for province

Islamabad, January 25, 2011: Despite being the biggest province that houses well over half country’s total population, province of Punjab has not carry out legislation on right to information, effectively denying its residents access to information held by provincial departments. PML N leadership has been championing the cause of transparent and open government and its leader Mian Nawaz Sharif has exerted pressure on the federal government to be more open and transparent in its functioning.

Seen in this context, it is all the more ironic that Punjab government has yet to legislation on right to information which is universally acknowledged anti-corruption tool. Both PML N and PPP pledged in Charter of Democracy that legislation on right to information will be carried out.

Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Qamar Zaman Kaira shared with members of National Assembly standing committee on Information and Broadcasting on January 22, 2011 that Right to Information Bill will be presented before the concerned standing committee or National Assembly by middle of February.

This is a welcome step and Punjab government should follow suit. It is about time that the draft Freedom of Information Bill sees light of the day and turned into law through Act of Punjab Assembly   after incorporating views of all stakeholders.

Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI)
Tel: 051-2101594; URL: www.cpdi-pakistan.org

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