1971 war fund missing

2012-07-01 07:36 pm

1971 war fund missing
By: Sanjeev Devasia Date: 2010-08-21

Almost 40 years after state imposed a surcharge on BEST commuters as relief fund after 1971 war, no one knows where the Rs 26 lakh has gone, reveals RTI Nearly Rs 26 lakh collected by the BEST to provide relief after 1971 Bangladesh war seems to have vanished into thin air. The BEST had collected the amount from bus commuters as the Bangladesh Refugee Relief Surcharge from 1971-73 and the Scarcity Relief Surcharge from 1973-74. However, neither the BEST nor the Transport Commissioner's office, where it claims to have deposited the money has any information on how the money was spent.

Graphic shows approximate value of the same amount of money in today's times, factoring in inflation

This was revealed when RTI activist Manoranjan Roy filed an application asking the BEST how much money was collected as surcharge and where it was spent. The BEST revealed that it had collected Rs 13.85 lakh under the head of 'Bangladesh Refugee Relief Surcharge' from December 1971 to March 1973 and a sum of Rs 12.94 lakh under the head of 'Scarcity Relief Surcharge' from April 1973 to March 1974. However, the BEST said that it had deposited the money with the transport department as the sum is collected on behalf of the government of Maharashtra and is remitted to the office of the Transport Commissioner every month. When Roy filed an RTI with the Transport Commissioner's office, the department admitted that such surcharges imposed by the BEST are deposited with it but said it had no record of the Rs 26 lakh. The revenue document given to Roy by the department mentions a heading 'Bangladesh Development Fund' but has no amount next to it. Tough task Roy said he had a hard time getting this information. "I was stonewalled for information. When I filed an RTI application with the Chief Minister's office, they referred me to the BEST, claiming that it was the collecting agency.
http://www.mid-day.com/print.php?path='http://www.mid-day.com/new... 1 of 2

729.933.7049.com/new. "However.933 considering the rate of inflation.03." "But. Transport Commissioner DJ Jadhav was unavailable for comment despite repeated attempts. which said that it deposits the amount with the transport department. Collections Details of the surcharges collected under various heads after the Bangladesh war: Bangladesh Refugee Relief Surcharge: Dec 1971 to Mar 1973 .990.1971 war fund missing 2012-07-01 07:36 pm I then filed an RTI application with the BEST.86.028. "If we have to calculate the value of the total amount collected from December 1971 to March 1974 Rs 13. The current one is as a 'Nutrition Surcharge' http://www. Surprisingly.. then we would have to multiply it by nearly seven times which would make it an amount of approximately Rs 1.87 crore).75 = Rs 26. Roy has now filed a PIL.204.com/print." said Roy.63 Today's Value According to Chartered Accountant Sanjay Lodha. though the Transport Department provided me with the details of all the sums collected as surcharge.mid-day.87.php?path='http://www. making it an amount of approximately Rs 8. the same cess was continued under various heads such as Scarcity Relief Surcharge. Same Wine.79.85..15 Scarcity Relief Surcharge: Apr 1973 to Mar 1974 .729.Rs 36. Children Nutrition Surcharge and Nutrition Surcharge. demanding an inquiry into the management of funds by BEST.Rs 12. BEST charges a surcharge on every bus ticket.Rs 13.85. we will have to multiply it by at least 30 times." RTI activist Manoranjan Roy said he had a hard time getting the information. Even today. which is expected to come up for hearing on August 26. if we have to conservatively calculate by the value of the same Rs 26.94. neither the BEST nor the Transport Commissioner's office had an answer on how the money was spent.mid-day.204. there was no mention of the funds collected from 1971 to 1974.59.531 (Rs 1.60 Nutrition Surcharge: Apr 1975 to Jan 2009 . Fed up of the discrepancies in information.79.9 by the Income Tax Inflation Index. which is collected even today.94." he added. This has made me suspicious.15+ Rs 12. 2 of 2 .Rs 372. New Bottle? Though the surcharge was levied on passenger tickets for providing relief to Bangladesh Refugees from December 1971 to March 1973.97.75 Children Nutrition Surcharge: Apr 1974 to Mar 1975 .647.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful