Right to Information Bill, 2016 to be introduced in NA coming session: Marriyum Aurangzeb

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ISLAMABAD, Nov 21 (APP): State Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb Monday apprised the Senate that the Right to Information Bill 2016 had already been approved by the Cabinet and would be introduced in the coming National Assembly session.

Opposing the private member bill ‘The Right to Information Bill, 2016’ moved by Kamil Ali Agha and others, she said impression was being given that the government was not doing work on the bill.

“On the direction of the prime minister the government has completed a rigorous exercise of compiling the legislation. Extensive parliamentary, ministerial and legal review has been completed. The bill is also reviewed by CCLC and approved by the cabinet and a comprehensive bill will be laid in the parliament in the coming National Assembly session,” she said.

Marriyum Aurangzeb said the draft of the bill has been prepared with the spirit to bring improvement in access to information. The minister said the government has been working on the bill for the last 11 months adding that rigorous consultations were made with all the stakeholders.

Marriyum said that Prime Minister had constituted a five members committee consisting of parliamentarians to review the proposed bill.

She said the bill was thoroughly reviewed, compared with other countries and provinces and then sent to Law Division.

The minister said the draft of the bill has been prepared on the basis of the proposals given by the Senate Standing Committee on Information and Broadcasting.

She said the recommendations given by Senate would also be incorporated in the bill to make it flawless.

Chairman Senate referred the bill to the select committee of the Senate for further deliberation as the Senate Standing Committee on Information and Broadcasting had already passed it.

Earlier, moving the bill in the house, Kamil Ali Agha said the provinces had already passed such bills. He said the Senate committee had already passed the bill.

Farhatullah Babar was of the view that access to information had become fundamental right of the citizen under Article 19A. All the four provinces have already implemented right to information bills, he added.
He said the Senate Standing Committee on Information and Broadcasting had already endorsed the bill.