The Electronic Service Delivery Bill – which mandates all government organisations to deliver public services through electronic mode – will be sent for Cabinet approval before the Winter session of Parliament.

This was stated by the IT and Communications Minister, Mr Kapil Sibal, at the Economic Editors Conference here.

The public services delivered through the electronic mode would include receipt of forms and applications, issue of any licenses, permits, certificates, or approvals and the receipt or payment of money, according to the draft Bill.

Time frame

The Bill proposes a five-year timeframe for transitioning to the e-delivery mode. The cut-off date is extendable by up to another three years.

It also says that in 180 days of the Bill coming into effect, the individual Government agencies will have to list out the public services that are to be delivered through the electronic mode, and indicate the timeline for e-enabling each of these service. They will also have to outline the framework for grievance redressal mechanism in case of user complaints.

“We are in the process of drafting a Public Service Delivery Bill which hopefully will go to the Cabinet before the Winter Session…If possible, we will try and introduce it in the Winter Session of the Parliament,” Mr Sibal said.

Draft electronics policy

The Minister also stressed on the need to encourage electronics manufacturing in the country. Mr Sibal, earlier this month, had released a draft electronics policy that talked of incentives to create over 200 electronics clusters, and a ten year stable tax regime for electronics design and manufacturing.

“The electronics manufacturing sector needs to be given an impetus…If it does not happen, it will upset all our technology plans,” he said. India cannot afford to be in a situation where electronics imports exceed oil imports, he pointed out.

“Electronics industry will be at the heart of everything…If we do not prepare ourselves (to address the situation), the electronics import bill will be $400 billion by 2020,” he added.

moumita@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated October 21, 2011)
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