Delhi chief minister, Arvind Kejriwal, on Saturday said that the city’s residents will soon be able to claim compensation for services delayed by government departments if the assembly clears a legislation in this regard in its next session.
The Delhi government will table the Service Delivery Amendment Bill in the upcoming assembly session, he said. Given that Kejriwal’s party, AAP, has 67 out of 70 legislators in the assembly, this bill looks all set to be passed.
“We will table service delivery amendment bill in this upcoming session. We hope that the recommendations of the bill will be implemented from January 1 after the rules are framed,” he said.
Speaking to a select group of reporters at his official residence, Kejriwal said the compensation will be paid on the basis of a daily fine that will be recovered from the salary of the official found responsible for causing the delay.
“If you apply for a certificate and don’t get it in the stipulated time period, for instance 15 days, you will automatically get compensation from the 16th day. The government will not foot the bill for the compensation. It will be recovered from the salary of the official responsible.
“The competent authority will have to fix responsibility and if he is not able to do so, it will be deducted from his salary,” Kejriwal told reporters.
Kejriwal said heads of departments have been asked to identify which services can be included in the first lot for this. “They have a month to decide. Time-frame will be fixed for each official a file is processed by.”
The officials will also have recourse to redress and they can take up any grievance with their department heads. “Those who do good work will be rewarded. And the reward will be exemplary.”
The Act was passed when Sheila Dikshit of the Congress party was the chief minister in Delhi, but not a single claim for compensation has been filed as the process is too cumbersome for the claimant, he said.
He also spoke about simplifying the process of verifying documents, saying the citizens will now be able to self-attest their details, but submitting false information will immediately attract police action.
“Earlier the liability was with the sub-divisional magistrate who stamped your certificate, no liability of the claimant. No field verification of details are actually carried out.
“Now you file your details and issue any certificate you want, you can cite whatever income you want, but after you file your details online, we will carry out calculations. If you lie in your declaration, there will be a direct police case against you. Ham chodenge nahi (We will not let you off),” he said.
Kejriwal said his government will simplify procedures for issuance of various important certificates by initiating self-attestation process on documents and abolishing 200 categories of affidavits.
“Initiating self-attestation process is a biggest change. We are trusting the citizens and making the system citizen centric,” the chief minister said.
Earlier, he said, people had to approach gazetted officers or the MPs/MLAs to get their documents attested for issuance of various certificates but in the new system which the government was bringing, the need of attestation and producing affidavits would no more be required.
“From December 1 the new system will be in place. This will make the system transparent and help in eliminating corruption,” he said, adding this will also reduce the delivery time of services.
Earlier this month, the Delhi cabinet announced the abolishment of 200 different categories of affidavits applicable in the national capital and the initiation of self-attestation process on documents from December 1.
Kejriwal said that the decision was aimed at ending unnecessary harassment faced by the public in getting official work done. Only those affidavits which are mandatory, according to laws passed by the Parliament or Delhi assembly, have been retained, he said.
Some of the affidavits which have been dispensed with are for issue of ration card, addition/deletion of name in ration card, issuance of duplicate ration card, change in address, registration of vehicles, permanent licence, pension to women in distress, financial assistance to poor widows for marriage of their daughters and orphan girls, Delhi Ladli Scheme, old age pension, disability pension, correction of birth and death, income certificate, disabled person certificate, pension and GPF, affidavits related to buildings under MCD and others.