What is the basis of pricing of the blank forms?
An application under Right to Information (RTI) Act has revealed that Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) charges very highly for even blank forms, which is much more than its actual printing cost. It has been revealed that the SMC sells 102 types of forms at costs ranging between Rs 5 and Rs 200 while most other municipal corporations charge between Rs. 2 to 5. The SMC does not accept handwritten applications, thereby forcing everyone to purchase the forms. Most of the forms are of one page, whose actual cost would be less than Rs 1 as it does not involve any intellectual property. The reasons for charging extra money for blank forms could not be ascertained though the Deputy Commissioner (finance) S N Mehta said, "It (charges) were decided by the particular department considering the requirements. It was also approved by the elected body."
If an unemployed person wants to apply for job in SMC, he has to first buy a blank form for Rs 25. If he wants to reapply, he will have to pay another Rs 25 for a blank form again. The most amusing part is that the blank forms in English cost Rs 50, much more than those in native language.