New Delhi: Making it clear that there will be no dilution of the RTI Act, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday said the government wishes to make Right to Information an "even more effective instrument" for ensuring transparency but wanted a critical look at it to address certain concerns.

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Singh said the transparency law should not adversely affect deliberative processes in the government and discourage honest, well meaning public servants from voicing their views.

Addressing the two-day annual convention of the Central Information Commission here, Singh said "we wish to make the Right to Information an even more effective instrument for ensuring transparency and accountability in administration".

He said there was a need to strike a balance between disclosure of information and the limited time and resources available with public authorities.

“The Right to Information should not adversely affect the deliberative processes in the government," he said adding, "We must take a critical look at it. There are concerns that need to be discussed and addressed."

There have been demands for amending the transparency law by certain sections of government who feel it is "transgressing" into their functioning.    

Amendments to the RTI Act and exemptions given to security agencies from making disclosures under it are expected to be debated at the conference being attended by information commissioners.

"I think we need to remember here that a point of view brought under public scrutiny and discussion in an isolated manner may sometimes present a distorted or incomplete picture of what really happened in the processes of making the final decisions," he said.

Singh said that a legislation for protection of whistleblowers would be enacted in the next few months to help prevention of violence against those who seek to expose wrongdoings in the public administration.

Government, he said, stands committed to a comprehensive agenda of legal, executive and technology initiatives to curb corruption and improve governance and considered the Right to Information to be a powerful tool to enable it to move in that direction.

He asked the participating Information Commissioners to come up with concrete suggestions in the area of exemption clauses in the RTI Act.

"We must also take a critical look at the exemption clauses in the Right to Information Act to determine whether they serve the larger good and whether a change is needed in them," Singh said.

He asked the Information Commissioners and other participants of the convention to make recommendations for dealing with vexatious RTI applications.

"A situation in which a public authority is flooded with requests for information having no bearing on public interest is something not desirable.

"We must, therefore, pool all our wisdom, our knowledge, and our experience to come to a conclusion on how to deal with vexatious demands for information, without at the same time hindering the flow of information to those whose demands genuinely serve public interest," he said.

Govt scared of RTI Act: BJP

Accusing the government of being "scared" of the RTI Act, BJP on Friday slammed the Prime Minister's statement favoring a "critical look" at the transparency law and warned that any attempt to dilute the act would be opposed across the country.

"Is the government scared now of the RTI Act? The Government wants to turn its back towards the Act. The government, which has already lost its credibility, fears that it would be nowhere if this Act survives for a long time," said BJP spokesman Rajiv Pratap Rudy.

The BJP also charged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of giving indications on dilution of the RTI Act and warned the government that any such attempt would be opposed across the country.

"By stating that the RTI Act is a wastage and time and expenses, the Prime Minister is giving a big indication to dilsute the Act. We never expected such a statement from the PM," said Rudy.

He claimed the Prime Minister was siding with the rhetoric of such organisations which are seeking exemption from the transparency law.

"The BJP feels that the tenor of the Prime Minister's speech at the 6th conference of Information Commissioners is an attempt or an indication to rake up a debate in this country to dilute the provisions of the RTI, said Rudy.

Terming the PM's statement as "very objectionable" and which no other PM has ever said, the BJP said, "This is a matter of concern, as he (the PM) is talking in complete contradiction to the very tenet of the RTI Act."

(Agencies)