Call to ensure citizens’ right to information

Kathmandu, July 2

Speakers at a programme have stressed the need to ensure citizens’ access to information.

During an interaction organised by Federation of Nepali Journalists on ‘protection and promotion of right to information’ here today, they said although the government had introduced the Right to Information Act long ago, common citizens were still deprived of information.

FNJ Chairman Mahendra Bista said although things were gradually improving, government staffers were reluctant to share information with the general public. “Government employees fear that they would face trouble if they make information public,” added Bista.

Stating that it is the journalists’ duty to make information easily available to the public, Bista stressed on investigative journalism to expose irregularities in government offices.

He further said that the FNJ was lobbying the government to implement the policy of providing advertisements to media houses proportionally.

Commissioner at National Information Commission Yeshoda Timilsina admitted that the general public were still unaware of their right to information. All public agencies need to provide information in accordance with the RTI Act, she said.

According to Timilsina, the NIC was mobilising RTI campaigners to help general people have access to information.

Kathmandu chapter chair of FNJ Shantaram Bidari said journalists could make news more investigative with the use of RTI.