Practise Filing One Application in Month under RTI
Mangalore, Nov 5: �For the betterment of your own, make a practice of filing at least one application in a month under the Right To Information (RTI) Act,� said renowned RTI activist Shailesh Gandhi.
He was addressing the Citizens at Lions Seva Mandir here on Saturday November 3.
He further said that by filing the application one can shake the government.
The entire administrative machinery can be reformed in three years, if 25 to 30 lac people, out of 100 crore population, file the application seeking information under the RTI Act, he informed.
In order to make effective use of the most powerful weapon, it is necessary that all should have a strong will in the form of the RTI Act, he added.
After a long, continued struggle the Act came into existence, said Gandhi. It was also an ideal democratic tool to realize the dream of Sampurna Swaraj, he added.
All these year the biggest democracy remained a participatory democracy and not functional democracy. So today with the RTI act in hand, we can make it function for the betterment of the country, he added.
RTI Act will help in getting rid of the habit of blaming the system and will give the strength to shake the system, he said.
D A I J I W O R L D
Recently I booked tickets on Air Deccan and Indigo for my mother.
The tickets were booked on yatra.com and paid for by Credit Card.
The cost of the ticket was shown as "Passenger Fare" and "Taxes". The taxes are approximately Rs. 1725.00 for each ticket.
From experience, I know that these "Taxes" include Passenger Service Fee, Airport Tax, User Charges, Fuel Surcharge, Additional Fuel Surcharge, Security Charges, etc...."
Due to health reasons, my mother could not make the trip.
While cancelling the tickets, BOTH the airlines deducted the "passenger fare" part of the cost (which is correct, since the tickets were clearly non-refundable). However, BOTH the airlines told me that for the "taxes" part, they will only issue a voucher that can be used by the same passenger within 180 days and on the same airline.
My thinking is that all these so called "taxes" become payable when a passenger actually travels. These "taxes" are collected by the airline, on behalf of the Government and to be paid to the Government when the passenger actually flies. They cannot collect taxes, not pay to the Government and moreover not refund to the passenger, but ask him to utilize this amount through a voucher which is non-transferable.
Some research showed me that both Air Deccan and Indigo owe the Government huge amounts in taxes which they have not paid and also owe large amounts to the Airports Authority of India (AAI) for parking fees, navigation fees etc, which also they have not paid and are long overdue.
I would like to know the following information through a RTI :
1. When do these "taxes" actually become due ?
That means , when are the airlines actually supposed to pay to the Government or the appropriate authority ? Are they supposed to pay the Government within a stipulated time period of collecting the amount OR only after a passenger flies ?
2. Can someone collect taxes on behalf of the Government , not pay the Government and then also not pay back the passenger ?
3. What are the relevant rules under which, someone who collects money on behalf of the Government and misuses the funds, can be penalised ?
4. How much do these airlines (and others too) owe the Govt. on "taxes" and AAI on other charges ?
Since how long are these payments overdue ?
What action has the Govt. or AAI taken against these airlines ?
If no action, why not ?
When will action be taken ?
Whom should I address my RTI application to ?
Ministry Of Finance, Ministry of Civil Aviation, DGCA or AAI ?
Can members please guide me.
I was told that these procedures are in place by most airlines since mid October. Members and guests should bear this aspect in mind before booking tickets and check with the airline before paying for a ticket.