Himachal Pradesh assembly today adopted the HP Public Services Guarantee Bill, 2011, seeking to ensure time bound delivery of public services to the people. The bill introduced by chief minister P. K Dhumal on Wednesday was supported by opposition Congress also.

Replying to the discussion on the bill, Dhumal said bill would focus on solving the problems which citizens encounter while dealing with departments or organizations or other government agencies providing public services and bring transparency, accountability and responsiveness of the administration.

He added that the concerned officials would be required to provide services within a stipulated timeframe and made accountable in case of any delay. He said the State Information Commissioner of RTI would be the appellant authority to hear the case under this Act and hoped the bill would also contribute to reducing corruption by officials responsible for service delivery. A provision to impose a penalty of Rs 1000 to Rs 5000 has been made in case the concerned authority and officers failed to deliver the service within the timeframe.

Congress president Kaul Singh Thakur welcomed the move by government and said it would help the citizens in dealing with day-to-day problem of getting delayed services. However, Kuldeep Singh Pathania expressed doubts about efficacy of the Bill in curbing corruption and said only 2.25 lakh employees would come under the purview of the Bill.

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