NEW DELHI: A massive cut of over 63 per cent in the funds for the transparency watchdog -- Central Information Commission -- and propagation of the Right to Information Act has been announced in the Union Budget today.
In the Budget presented today, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley allocated only Rs 8.66 crore under the head "CIC and RTI" which is a drastic cut of Rs 14.95 crore (or a deduction of over 63 per cent) from the revised estimates of 23.61 crore for 2017-18.
The head "CIC and RTI" includes provisions for projects such as construction of office building of the Central Information Commission, and CIC's project on effective implementation of RTI Act.
"It also includes CIC's allocation for dak (communication through post) digitisation, setting up of video conferencing facilities, preparation of publicity material on RTI, setting up of call centre and establishment of wing for transparency and accountability studies for CIC. Fund allocations in respect of DOPT's propagation of RTI Act are also made," the budget document said.
Under the head of establishment-related expenditure of Public Enterprises Selection Board and Central Information Commission, Rs 26.54 crore has been allocated which is a reduction of over Rs 4.89 crore from last year's allocations.