In response to a question in the Lok Sabha, Shri V. Narayanasamy, Minister of State of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pension and Prime Minister Office, has stated that in order to facilitate filing of RTI applications in Central Government public authorities by Indians living abroad, the Central Government has ‘in-principle’ agreed to start sale of Indian Postal Orders through internet on payment in foreign currency.
The Right to Information (Regulation of Fee & Cost) Rules, 2005 provides that a request for obtaining information should be accompanied by an application fee of rupes ten by way of cash against proper receipt or by demand draft or bankers cheque or Indian Postal Order payable to the Accounts Officer of the public authority.
While hundreds of thousands of RTIs have been filed since the RTI Act was passed in 2005, Indians abroad have had a tough time arranging the fees and asking their government for information. If things stay on track then soon Indians abroad would be able to log on to the department of posts website and register themselves. After doing so, they would need to upload a copy of their passports as proof of citizenship and then make the payment for the RTI online.
The plan is to also allow NRIs to then directly file their RTI query related with central government departments online. The department will then send the RTI directly to the concerned information officer who would also be able to log on and verify that the payment has been made.