The Economic Survey today proposed a Transparency of Rules Act (TORA) to ensure all citizen centric rules are displayed on websites of government departments for easy reference in English, Hindi and regional languages. Once a department becomes 'TORA compliant', it would not be allowed to impose a rule, procedure or form which has not been explicitly displayed on the website, said the Survey. This proposal was given in the Economic Survey-II 2016-17 which was tabled in the Lok Sabha today. Currently, the opaque mesh of rules is so complicated that even government officials struggle to keep up with the latest version, it said. Once enacted, TORA will make it mandatory for all departments to place every citizen-facing rule, regulation, form and other requirement on its website -- preferably in English, Hindi and regional language. "Once a department is declared 'TORA-compliant', any rule that is not explicitly on the website would be deemed not to apply.
No government official would be allowed to impose a rule, procedure or form that is not explicitly displayed on the website," said the Survey. TORA will further specify that all laws, rules and regulations need to be presented as an updated, unified whole at all times. Citizens should not have to wade through decades of circulars to find out the current state of play, it said. The cost of implementation of TORA is likely to be trivial, the Survey said, adding that the proposal can be implemented by one department at a time and there is no need for nation-wide large scale coordination.
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