Deadlines for citizens’ services – Sakala scheme

This is an article giving the details of the Karnataka Guarantee of Services to Citizens Act – named as Sakala. This Act is introduced by the Government of Karnataka on the model of similar Act of Bihar State Government. With the implementation of the provisions of the Act citizens of the State are expected to get hassle free services without having to pay any bribe.

Karnataka Guarantee of Services to Citizens Act – Sakala

Both the houses of Karnataka State legislator - the Assembly and the Council, have recently passed the Karnataka Guarantee of Services to Citizens Act. The Government has taken up the task of implementation of the Act from the 1st of March, 2012 in a phased manner. The first phase of implementation of the act as a pilot project was launched by the Chief Minister in the presence of VIPs in Jayanagar. The pilot project covers Jayanagar in the Bangalore city, Aurad taluk in Bidar district, Chitradurga taluk in Chitradurga district, Dharwad taluk in Dharwad district and Puttur taluk in Dakshina Kannada district.

The state Government of Karnataka has launched a service program for the benefit of the citizens of the State. The program is to provide services to the citizens of the State within a schedule of time limits. The program is being implemented in phased manner. To start with the Sakala Scheme is introduced in selected districts in respect of the services to be rendered by some departments. As per the program the Government has fixed a deadline within which the person/s concerned of the concerned department has to complete and comply with the requirements of the citizens who seek the services. The state Government will gradually extend this scheme to all other places. The difficulties or deficiency noted, if any, during the implementation of the pilot program will be taken into account for improvements. It is proposed to cover 11 departments covering 151 services. The Government has fixed time limit within which the citizens request of the concerned services have to be complied with.

In the pilot project the following services and cut off time are included

Driving license - 30 days

Caste certificate - 21 days

Senior citizens' ID card - 17 days

Registration of building - 15 days

Revaluation in examination - 15 days

Property tax certificate - 15 days

Duplicate ID card -7 days

Birth and death certificate - 3-7 days

Drinking water facility in rural area - 3 days

Age proof certificate - 3 days

Copy of FIR -immediately

The Act will provide time bound services for driving licenses, caste certificates, property registration, property tax certificate, identity cards etc. The Act provides penalty to levied to the official concerned for delay in providing the services. The penalty of minimum or Rs 20 to Maximum of Rs 250 a day will have to be paid by the official/s concerned to the concerned citizen as compensatory cost for the delay. The Act also provides for action against any employee if he/she is found guilty of not providing service within the stipulated time for more than 25 times in a year.

At present similar provisions are available in some states like Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakand and Himachal Pradesh for some of the services. This service will not only give time bound services to the citizen but also is expected to reduce corruption in these services. For giving information and help a call center will be established with the telephone number 080 44554455. The Karnataka Guarantee of Services to Citizens Act will also deal with other grievances too.

The Chief Minister announced at the launch of the program that he will persuade all other state governments and the Central Government to bring in similar programs in their respective jurisdictions. On the occasion Mr Ananth Kumar, MP from Bangalore said that the opposition in Parliament will pressurize the Central Government to introduce the Right of Citizens for Time Bound Delivery of Goods and Services and Redressal of the Grievances Bill to pass the act for the benefits of citizen for all the services that may be required by them.


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