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Not a jolly ride anymore

A recent directive issued by the Delhi Govt requires all auto and taxi drivers to file income tax returns.

india Updated: May 09, 2006 15:47 IST

The government, it seems, has finally realised that the city’s auto and taxi drivers have earned enough money by fleecing commuters that they should be able to file income tax returns ever year.

A recent directive issued by the government requires all auto and taxi drivers to furnish their PAN number and bank account details if they want help from the Transport Department.

Thus, all applications by auto and taxi drivers for obtaining annual fitness certificate, permits or registration, have been put on hold.

As expected, the directive has been met with stiff resistance by the auto and taxi unions.

"An auto driver hardly gets to earn Rs 100-150 per day. Why does the government want an account of our income records? Moreover, most auto and taxi drivers are semi-literate —- once we get a PAN card, we would have to engage a chartered accountant to file our tax returns every year," said Rajender Soni, president of Delhi Auto-Rickshaw Sangh.

The two unions, representing 55,000 auto rickshaw drivers and 5000 taxi drivers, would stage a protest demonstration outside the office of the transport department on May 10.

Soni informed that the government has set a deadline of May 26 for all auto and taxi drivers to apply for a PAN card and bank account by then.

"After May 26, the department would not entertain any affidavits," he said.

Though nearly 75 per cent of the autos that ply on the city roads are rented (not owned by the drivers themselves), but still the auto drivers union is opposing the directive.

"We are not sure about the government's intentions. Today, it's the owners and tomorrow even the drivers could be asked for PAN/bank account details in order to ply the autos," said Soni.

First Published: May 09, 2006 15:47 IST