CM Devendra Fadnavis' push will mean RTI applications will soon go online, the next step is for the applicant to know how to pay RTI fees online using eIPO.
In a welcome move to enhance transparency, Devendra Fadnavis, Chief Minister of Maharashtra, has announced that citizens would be able to file their Right To Information (RTI) applications online from January 2015 onwards. For filing RTI applications at the click of the mouse, it is important to know how to pay the Rs10 RTI fees online, which will also now become easy.
Thanks to the single-handed and untiring efforts of Delhi based RTI activist Commodore Lokesh Batra (retd.), the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) has directed all Chief Secretaries of states to consider using eIPO facilities for the payment of RTI fees.
While it is imperative that the Chief Secretary of Maharashtra would have to implement the eIPO facility along with the facility to file an RTI online, it is important for RTI users to understand the mechanism of online payment. Presently, around 2,500 central public authorities and 176 missions abroad have applied this facility for citizens.
The DoPT letter dated 12th August, 2014 to all the state chief secretaries states that, ``A service called eIPO (Electronic Indian Postal Order), was launched on 22 March 2013 for purchasing Indian Postal Order online through the e-post office portal for paying RTI fee to access information under RTI Act from central public authorities. The facility which was started initially for Indian citizens abroad was extended to Indian citizens residing in India from 13 February 2014. DOP (Department of Posts) has now proposed that the feasibility of extending this facility to the state governments also, where IPO is one of the modes of payment for RTI applications may be explored. I therefore request you to explore the feasibility of introduction of eIPO facility for state public authorities to make the RTI regime more citizen friendly.’’
Lokesh Batra, who has filed 101 RTI applications online and paid through the eIPO route urges every RTI applicant to use this facility if available, because he says ``if we do not use it, it does not remain viable for the Department of Posts (DOP) to maintain this facility.” The other fact being that the physical form of IPO costs Rs36.40 for the tax payer, says Batra, and much public expenditure could be avoided with the eIPO, the cost of which is negligible.
In order to purchase an eIPO, you need to register with the post office portal at https://www.epostoffice.gov.in. Select the Ministry and Department from the displayed list, then select the payment mode and Bank name. Click on Payment button to book the eIPO. It will lead to the bank's payment gateway, where users can make the payment online.
Let's hope the Maharashtra government, which has been quite sloppy in many areas of RTI governance, picks up speed under Fadnavis by making it RTI-user friendly.
FAQs published by DOP to guide citizens on how to use eIPO facility
2. How eIPO can be purchased?
3.What is the cost of eIPO?
4. Is eIPO expensive?
5.Whether eIPO can be purchased from any corner of the world?
6.Where eIPO can be used?
7.Whether eIPO can be sent through email/post?
8. Is the payment made online?
9. What can be presented as a proof of identity by the Indian Citizen Living abroad?
10. What makes eIPO special?
It is reliable – Since it uses e-mail to send it to the relevant Government of India Ministry, it can get the response easily too.
11. Is it required for the user to register everytime in order to purchase eIPO?
12.How can user register for eIPO?
13. What are the initial requirements for creating new user in eIPO?
14. Where does the user get the eCode and mCode?
15. Is there any time limit for user verification?
16. While registering, if captcha image is not clear or not shown?
17. Is email id mandatory?
18. Is mobile number mandatory?
19. What is the format of mobile number?
20. If the user does not get codes, what should be done?
21.Can successful registration be done if security code image is not visible?
22. If user is unable to perform successful transaction?
23. Can the user cancel a purchased eIPO?
24. Can single eIPO be used multiple times?
25. If user forgets his password, how to get a new password?
eIPO HELP DESK
email id : [email protected]
(Vinita Deshmukh is consulting editor of Moneylife, an RTI activist and convener of the Pune Metro Jagruti Abhiyaan. She is the recipient of prestigious awards like the Statesman Award for Rural Reporting which she won twice in 1998 and 2005 and the Chameli Devi Jain award for outstanding media person for her investigation series on Dow Chemicals. She co-authored the book “To The Last Bullet - The Inspiring Story of A Braveheart - Ashok Kamte” with Vinita Kamte and is the author of “The Mighty Fall”.)
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