Nagaland: Private charter that ferried Rs 3.5 crore old notes is grounded!
KOHIMA: Air Car Airline, a private charter has been grounded for allegedly allowing a passenger to carry Rs 3.5 crore in old notes from Haryana's Hisar to Dimapur in Nagaland on 22 November, said a Times of India(TOI) report.
According to the report, the airline had got the clearance from the Haryana Institute of Civil Aviation (HICA).
The charter company, despite being aware of the government's effort to crack down on black money, failed to report the passenger to the air traffic control (ATC) in Dimapur, for which the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) has cancelled its "security programme", Times of India reported.
No charter plane can fly without clearance of 'security programme'from the BCAS.
According to the airline, the pilot was unaware of the currency amount being carried. The passenger allegedly provided the pilot I-T declarations and personal declarations that the money was tax paid/exempted and they were to deposit it in their bank at Dimapur, reported Times of India(TOI).
The airline defended its stand stating "we have no authority to question a person's belongings as long as they do not compromise aircraft safety".
Air Car has three planes in its fleet — a Cessna Citation XL, a Piaggio Avanti and a King Air C-90. The Citation XL had been hired to fly from Hissar — a small airfield which does not have the security checks of a big airport — to Dimapur on November 22.
Since November 8, there have been several cases in which people rented charter planes from small airfields without proper security checks to transport old notes.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has now made it mandatory for pilots operating from small airfields to check baggage under police supervision before taking off.
Demonetisation has resulted in money being flown to Nagaland as the income tax laws allow exemptions for various categories of incomes or individuals in the Northeast. These exemptions are apparently now being misused to convert black cash into white money.
Among those exempt from paying income tax are members of scheduled tribe communities in Nagaland, Manipur, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram. Scheduled tribes in North Cachar Hills and Mikir Hills in Assam, the Khasi Hills, Garo Hills and Jaintia Hills in Meghalaya and Ladakh in Jammu & Kashmir also don't have to pay income tax.
Featured image(courtesy): Jagran