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RTI Activist Subhash Chandra Agarwal Questions Rashtrapati Bhawan justification : Is monarchy back ?

28 March 2012 No Comment

RTI Activist Subhash Chandra Agarwal

RTI Activist from Delhi Subhash Chandra Agarwal : Questions Rashtrapati Bhawans justification : Is monarchy back ?

It refers to Rashtrapati Bhawan justifying huge spend of rupees 205 crores on 17 trips to 22 countries made by President Pratibha Patil. Undoubtedly goodwill-trips by Head of the nation to foreign countries are necessary. But spending such a huge amount by President of India who happens to be just a symbolic (and not working) head on such trips each time with about hundred trip-members in a bigger sized Boeing 747 jumbo jet plane, can by no means be held justified. Attached RTI response reveals that personal guests and family-members (apart the spouse) also enjoyed luxury-trips with President Pratibha Patil at cost of public-exchequer, apart from a large fleet of personal staff as if symbolic Head of nation represents a monarchy rule. Even in monarchy-ruled England, such luxury is not available to Queen and her family-members. Unfortunately smaller planes with most-advanced security-features especially purchased at heavy cost for Presidential trips were not used for the purpose.

 It is time that budget for Rashtrapati Bhawan may be drastically cut including also for Presidential trips in India and abroad. No relation other than the spouse of President may be allowed to travel on Presidential trips at cost of public-exchequer. Personal staff including cooks, butlers and others accompanying President should also be minimised. President of India should head the nation in terms of austerity especially when the government is hard pressed for resources to meet basic needs of the people in a country where farmers have to commit suicide because of poor economic conditions. All details of expenses made on President of India should be put on website under section 4(1)(b) of RTI Act also as an effective self-imposed check.


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