"The purport of the amendments proposed is to provide for enabling provisions under the RTI Act to frame rules regarding salaries, allowances and conditions of service for Chief Information Commissioners and Information Commissioners and State Information Commissioners. Presently, there are no such provisions available under the RTI Act," he said.
Many RTI activists have strongly opposed amendments to the RTI Act saying they are aimed at lowering the stature of Information Commissions from equivalent to the Election Commission (EC) and to do away with their five years fixed tenure.
The proposed amendments circulated among Members of Parliament seek to do away with the parity given to information commissions with the EC in terms of salary, allowances and conditions of service.
"The salaries and allowances payable to and other terms and conditions of service of the chief information commissioner and the information commissioners shall be such as may be prescribed by the central government...," according to the proposed amendment.
It also aims to amend the tenure of information commissioners at the Centre and the states from "for a term of five years..." to "...terms as may be prescribed by the central government".
In the statement of objects and reasons of the bill, the government has said functions carried out by the EC and information commissions are completely different.
The EC is a constitutional body established by clause (1) of Article 324 of the Constitution, while the CIC and state information commissions are statutory bodies established under the provisions of the RTI Act, 2005, it said.
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