‘Right to information must for development’

Speakers at a discussion on Saturday noted that right to information is required for maintaining continuity of development in the country.
They said, there is no alternative to ensuring right to information to improve the quality of life.
The comments came at a discussion arranged by the Information Commission marking the International Day for Universal Access to Information 2019 at the Jatiya Press Club.
Speakers, including government officials and mediapersons, agreed that implementation of the Right to Information Act is essential for ensuring transparency and accountability of the government.
Presenting the keynote paper, Chief Information Commissioner Martuza Ahmed said they are yet to ensure right to information for everyone in the country.
“We still have a long way to go to ensure everyone’s right to information … Public awareness should be raised with the help of the mass media for the promotion of the Right to Information Act,” he said.
Right to information
He noted that it is not possible for the Information Commission alone to achieve the goal.
“The commission is already implementing various programmes … The Right to Information Act has to be implemented at all levels of the society,” he added.
Jatiya Press Club President Saiful Alam said the incumbent government enacted the Right to Information Act to ensure free flow of information. “We, as media workers, always want that,” he said.
He said, it is necessary to consider whether a law to ensure the safety of information providers can be enacted similar to witness protection act so that they can provide information without fear.
“Most of the time, the information provider is under pressure,” he noted.
Information Commissioner Suraiya Begum and Additional Secretary of Information Commission Mizan-ul-Alam also spoke at the programme.