Right to Information Act Should Be Applicable To MNC And Government Benefited Institutions

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With the help of RTI, one can get all the necessary information from a government department, which otherwise is very difficult  to obtain. Same yardstick should be applicable to big companies and those institutions who get benefits from government in any manner whether exemptions in taxes, getting land at reduced prices or tax holidays etc. Those companies who are working in association with state or central government should not hesitate to come under the ambit of RTI. By bringing such companies and institutions under RTI, working of these companies will become transparent and they will not be able to take the customers for a ride.

A case in point is a leading group of industries which is doing gas exploration on partnership basis with ONGC. Lot of queries have been raised by CAG about unfair practices adopted by the company to further their interest. Another example is of a leading MNC dealing in hair care and facial cream products. This particular company has increased the price of  its hair dye by approx. 50% in a span of  6 months. Fail to understand the logic behind increasing the price at such a galloping speed. Prices of raw material and petroleum products have not increased so sharply.

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Is this not the case of unfair and unethical trade practice?

Such companies take their consumers for granted and assume that whatever they print on the package, hapless consumer shall pay as he or she cannot ask them to explain the reason for hiking the prices unrealistically.

Same is the case with private schools and hospitals and most of them were given lands at concessional rates as these institutions were to cater to society at large and these institutions have given undertaking to the government that they would provide free or concessional education/medical treatment to those families who cannot afford it. Leave aside fulfilling their commitments, these institutions have converted their establishments to commercial shops where even middle class man shudder at the thought of going there. Moreover, besides charging hefty amount of fees, some of these institutions do not have state of the art facilities and personnels to render professional  services. Some of educational institutions are accused of not paying full salaries to their teachers despite the fact that they have raised the fee the moment sixth pay commission announced revision in the salaries of the teachers. These educational and medical institutions should be transparent enough and this can be done if they are also under the ambit of RTI.

Similarly, sports organisations should provide the necessary details of their budjets under RTI as they spend huge amount of money of public. A case in point is Board of Control of Cricket in India which gets income tax waivers for major tournaments and they spend millions of dollars. They should not hesitate to part information with the public about their sources of income and their expenditure details if their dealings are transparent. If they have nothing to hide then why they are hesitant to come under the purview of RTI.

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