Hindustan Times: New Delhi: Wednesday, February 01, 2017.
Bills worth Rs 119 crore pending towards cash-strapped Air India, generated for some foreign visits of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, have been cleared against the back drop of a long battle by a retired naval officer using the RTI Act.
RTI applicant Commodore (retd) Lokesh Batra said that the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) on January 30 uploaded on its website the details of bills worth about Rs 119.70 crore cleared for eight trips, which were shown pending or under process since last year.
“I sincerely hope that all the public authorities concerned i.e. PMO, Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of Civil Aviation and Air India will institute suitable norms and guidelines to facilitate expeditious clearance of chartered flights bills as the issue is directly concerned with the ‘Tax-Payers’ money,” Batra said.
The move comes following an order of chief information commissioner RK Mathur, who had refused to disclose the file notings related to the travel expenses incurred on the Prime Minister’s visits abroad, but took note of Batra’s quest for timely payment of bills by the government to the public sector units.