The Delhi cabinet has approved the scrapping of at least 200 ‘irrelevant’ affidavits required for various Delhi government services including ration cards, income certificates and transport permits. The decision will be effective from December 1.
Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia called the abolition of such affidavits “a revolutionary step” in simplifying the process of offices that interact the public.
The scrapped affidavits include corrections on birth and death certificates, adoption and services related to the education department and no objection certificates.
After the cabinet meeting, Sisodia said, “We found many affidavits were needed for services which are useless. People are harassed by officials under the pretext of change in language in affidavits…”
“The basic philosophy of these major cabinet decisions is to trust the citizens. In other cases, attestation of documents has been done away with,” he added.
The decision to abolish affidavits will cover major departments such as the Directorate of Education, Revenue Department, Transport Department, Food, Supply and Consumer Affairs Department, Office of the Registrar Co-Operative Society, Department of Social Welfare, Department of Women and Child, Chief Registrar of Births and Deaths and Directorate of Local Bodies.
According to Sisodia, there were three types of affidavits.
“First are the ones that evolved over a period, second are those which comes under certain Acts and third are those that government believes should continue,” he said.
Sisodia also said there are around 40 such affidavits that will continue.
“We asked departments to give us a list of affidavits which could be done away with and a list of those which are important. There were many that were redundant and unnecessary. The government is bringing more things to promote ease of doing business. Only those affidavits which are mandatory according to laws passed by the Parliament or Delhi Assembly have been retained,” said Sisodia.
Senior officials said many affidavits were not required in the department but because it had become the norm, departments asked for them.
However, there are many who believe that many affidavits are crucial to reduce the responsibility of the regulating authorities.
“For instance, in building departments, scrapped affidavits include affidavit for non-stacking building material on government land during construction as prescribed in building bylaws on stamp paper; for declaration of pending court cases relating to property; for collaboration/non collaboration with builder. There are instances where properties get entangled in litigation and we have no clue. Affidavit given to us reduce our responsibility in court,” said a senior official.
The government has also asked the department of administrative reforms to bring in a separate proposal to include provisions for stringent punishment to those giving wrong self-declarations.
You no longer need affidavits for these
* Obtaining ration card, addition/deletion of name, issuance of duplicate card, surrendering/transfer of card
* Change in address
* OBC/SC/ST certificate
* Registration of vehicles
* Issue of stage carriage permit
* Transfer of permits, ownership, learner’s licence, permanent licence
* Pension to women in distress
* Financial assistance to poor widows for the marriage of their daughters, and to orphan girls
* Delhi Ladli scheme, old age pension