Get ready to pay more for Passport, licences and exams

ministry of finance

NEW DELHI: The finance ministry has come up with a latest offering to add a hole in your pocket. The ministry has asked several government departments and ministries to surge the “user charges” so as to recover costs of services provided.

The move by the ministry came in the wake of Expenditure Management Commission’s recommendation to rationalise expenditure as fiscal deficit in the first six months have already touched up 83.9% of the budget estimates for the whole year.

The decision would affect a host of services provided by government including passport, licenses, registration, examinations and others.

The finance ministry which is currently taking up budget discussions wants ministries and departments to meet their expenses by increasing user charges.

ET quoted a government official, “Autonomous organisations should move towards self­sufficiency…. How long can the government go on subsidising a service?”

He elaborated how various examinations such as Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) and railway services exam charges are nominal despite high surge in costs for conducting these exams.

In 2012 Passport expense was raised from Rs 1000 to Rs 1500 but the government is keen to bring about a massive change this year. As finance ministry has separately taken up the task with all departments and ministries after receiving recommendation for the same from the Expenditure Management Commission (EMC), led by ex­RBI governor Bimal Jalan.

“The EMC had said that cost of service should be recovered to make it self­sustaining and subsidy element be gradually brought down,”the government official said.

Similar recommendations have been directed to ministries for their expenditure rationalisation. The commission’s recommendations are also going to touch kerosene and diesel subsidy.

Although government has cleared that it is not inclined to cut down capital expenditure but the rationalisation based on utilization would be promoted.

Wefornews Bureau

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