Wednesday, December 16, 2009

‘Agriculture Development Bank covered under RTI’

Punjab holds share in bank, working capital comes from govt or its bodies, says CIC

The CIC said, “About 2.5 per cent of the respondent bank’s fund is provided by the state government, 2.5 per cent by the Central government and 95 per cent as loan and debentures by NABARD, which was established by an Act of Parliament in 1981. So practically, cent per cent of the working capital of the bank annually comes directly or indirectly from the state and the Central governments.”

R I Singh said, in such a case, “can it be said that government does not ‘control’ the bank?” The very name ‘agricultural development’ suggests that it was carrying on activities that affect the public in general and the weaker sections of the society in particular, and it cannot be argued that it’s not a public authority, he said. “It surprises me that the managing director of the bank, who is a government employee, should seek secrecy and shun transparency. Openness is the essence of cooperation,” he said.

The bank should supply information within 15 days or if it is to be denied on any grounds under the RTI Act, pass a speaking order giving reasons for such a denial, he directed.
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