As the ban on entry of “outsiders” into government offices in Uttarakhand sparked a controversy, Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat on Saturday said the government did not intend to hide any information from the media. “It is our commitment to provide all information to media on time,” he told reporters at his official residence here.
However, he sought to justify the recent directive issued to different departments asking them not to permit direct entry of “outsiders” into government offices at the secretariat saying the “problem is that there is sometimes a lot of smoke without fire”.
Reports based on half-baked or premature information erode the credibility of both the government and the media, Rawat said. “A system is being put in place where the media gets all the information on a single counter,” he added.
The Uttarakhand government recently issued an order banning the entry of “outsiders” directly into government offices at the secretariat fearing premature leakage of information.
The order was issued in view of the fact that the agenda of cabinet meetings on several occasions in the recent past was leaked to the media even before they took place, officials said on the condition of anonymity.
With the local media interpreting the order as a move to reduce systemic transparency, Uttarakhand Chief Secretary Utpal Kumar Singh convened a press conference to clarify that the directive was issued to ensure that only authentic information reached the media.
However, members of the media felt the order was meant to deny them direct access to information by a government which claims total transparency in governance and zero tolerance to corruption.