RTI bill and federal structure

The Right to Information (Amendment) Bill was passed by the Lok Sabha on Monday amidst opposition from activists and political parties.
The amendment pertains to salaries, allowances and conditions of service for chief information commissioners, information commissioners, and state information commissioners.
Currently, the salaries and allowances for the central chief information commissioner, other central information commissioners and the heads of the state information commissions are at par with those of the members of the Election Commission. The state information commissioners are entitled to salaries and allowances similar to those of the chief secretary, with a five-year tenure or until they reach the age of 65 years.
With the amendment, the central government will now decide the tenure and the salaries and perks of the central and state information commissions.
Former chief information commissioner Shailesh Gandhi has questioned the secrecy surrounding the amendment bill, and has accused the Centre of wanting to control the CIC and to downgrade the function of the SICs.
Activists took out rallies on the day of the passing of the amendment bill, while the opposition has said the bill should be sent to a select committee for further study.
The Centre was not open about its intention to amend the RTI Act, which is widely used as an effective tool to expose institutional corruption. In a federal structure, it is essential that the states are allowed to have a degree of independence in their functioning.