Stating that the Right to Information (RTI) Act won't be amended,
Corporate Affairs Minister M. Veerappa Moily Monday said certain
"inbuilt weaknesses" in it must be addressed. At the same time,
the bureaucracy should know "how to write in a file".
"There are several aspects in the RTI Act. RTI can't be used as an
instrument to blackmail. RTI should be used for public interest.
There are certain inbuilt weaknesses which need to be addressed.
"That doesn't mean we need to amend it," the former law minister
told reporters on the sidelines of a programme organised by the
Indian Chamber of Commerce here.
"It (RTI) can't be used for the agenda of some political party,
the agenda of some people who would like to see that the country
is not built but destroyed," he said.
Calling for a national debate on RTI, the minister said it was an
input to build participatory democracy in the country.
"But that doesn't mean we are going to amend the act or any of its
provisions," he said.
Moily's comments come three days after Prime Minister Manmohan
Singh called for a critical look at the RTI Act, saying it should
not affect the deliberative processes in the government.
The prime minister had said there were "concerns that it (RTI)
could end up discouraging honest, well meaning public servants
from giving full expression to their views".
Moily underscored the need for capacity building within the
"They (bureaucrats) should know how to act against the challenges
of RTI. I think in this respect there is deficiency in governance.
If that is addressed and also the capacity building is done,
things will be all right.
"For example, parliamentary questions or assembly questions... not
that every question is answered. They also make a selection. That
does not mean that parliamentary democracy is negative.
"So we should live through the practice and live through the
articles of the RTI... Officers should know how to write in a
file. Ministers should also know what to write, how to write,"
On whether his ministry will make Corporate Social Responsibility
(CSR) a compulsory area, Moily said: "We have adopted some
conciliatory note. By and large, the culture has to be developed.
CSR is no more a charity, no more a philanthropy. It is a social
"There are as many as 300 backward districts in the country where
investment will not go. Through CSR, (industrialists) can do
sustainable business," he added.