NIC settles highest number of applications since establishment

(CB Adhikari)

Kathmandu, Feb 7: The National Information Commission (NIC) has settled 777 applications in the fiscal year 2071-72, which is the highest number of cases settled till date since its establishment.
As per the NIC’s annual report, the maximum number of applications filed and settled was of educational sector totalling 2,372.
Similarly, 144 applications concerning local body, 100 on administration and communication, 57 of infrastructure development, 31 applications related to organizations, 25 of health, 14 of industries and commerce, and other 129 applications were settled during the fiscal year.
After the establishment of the NIC, 98 per cent of the applications were settled in the fiscal year 2071-72 – which is the highest number of applications sorted out since its inception.
The NIC submitted its seventh report to Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli at latter’s office in Singha Durbar. As per Section 25 of the Right to Information Act, 2064, the annual report on the executed works is presented to the PM.
In the first year after the establishment, the NIC had settled only 12 applications but was now successful in settling 777 applications with the same structure and resources, the Commission office-bearers pointed out while drawing the government’s attention to the need for expanding the Commission’s jurisdiction and equip it with adequate resources and tools.
After receiving the report, PM Oli issued instructions for equipping the NIC with enough tools and resources to streamline the effectiveness of its task.
PM Oli also instructed the Minister for Information and Communications to present NIC report before the parliament for deliberation in adherence to the necessary process and system. He expressed concern over complaints that the annual report is usually left neglected on the table and not implemented.
“The government is alert towards equipping the Commission with resources and tools and making its task effective and the government’s attention has been drawn towards the necessity of appointing an information officer at every public agency,” PM Oli said adding, “I urge you to focus on not allowing the misuse of the right to information but creating a balance.”
PM Oli further complained of the lack of uniformity and discipline in the languages used by the media. He called for positive news dissemination with responsibility and creating civilized and prosperous society.
“It is important that we use the rights that we have achieved,” PM Oli said, adding, “We should be aware of not letting the works being inappropriately executed from state’s various organs for which we have provisioned for right to information.” The government is fully committed to honouring the right to information, PM stressed.
NIC Chief Commissioner Krishna Hari Baskota said the Commission settled the maximum number of applications since its establishment.
Information Commissioner Kiran Pokharel said the Commission was successful in executing exemplary work despite limited resources. Minister for Information and Communication, Sherdhan Rai and Chief Secretary Dr Somlal Subedi among others were present on the occasion.
The Commission has presented a 20-point suggestion to the government which include expansion of the Commission’s organizational structure, amendment of the conflicting laws in relation to the right to information and internship for students that have completed Bachelor and Master’s degrees in journalism at the Commission, among others.