April 12th, 2016
According to the bills at the Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) in Bengaluru, three union ministers from Karnataka spend Rs 3 to 4 lakh every month on food and coffee.
According to Bangalore Mirror, the officials of the protocol department at the KIA have now been put under the scanner for fabricating the food and beverage bills raised in the name of VIPs, those who pass through the airport.
Union law Minister DV Sadananda Gowda, minister for chemicals and fertilisers Ananth Kumar, and minister of state for food and civil aviation GM Siddeshwara have been fallen prey to this scam made by the protocol department. It was Sadananda Gowda, who first raised the issue and directed the state government to look into the matter.
Now the ministers are considering it is better to pay the food and beverages bill at the airport from their own pockets. For the last 10 months, lakhs of rupees have been inflated as false bills. One of the sources explained Bangalore Mirror, “The job of the state government’s protocol personnel deployed at KIA is to usher in the state guests who land at or exit from KIA. There are 14 protocol officials led by a deputy secretary and two under-secretaries. These officials extend hospitality on behalf of the state and this includes serving coffee/snacks to VIPs in the lounge. For several years, the bills raised on food and beverages was in the Rs 35,000-40,000 range per month. But in the last few months, the bills have been in the range of Rs 3-4 lakh per month.”
This has happened in spite of the prices of the beverage remain unchanged and so is consumption of the VIPs.
Investigations conducted by the audit officials suggest that it has been purposely fabricated and they are suspecting a retired under-secretary rank officer behind this scam.
According to a report by the audit team, a minister had consumed five coffees, six glasses of juice, several sandwiches and six bottles of water at the same time, which is almost impossible. The ministers rarely get any time to spend in airports, most of the time they hurriedly board flights at the last moment. Rarely they get something from the airport, like a cup of tea or coffee, but they don’t spend luxuriously on grand meals at airports.
Not just ministers, inflated bills have been raised in the names of a few Supreme Court judges, chief ministers of other states, governors of other states and foreign dignitaries.
The Logical Indian urges the state government to immediately look into the matter and take serious actions as this is a matter of a lot of money. False allegations like these tarnish the reputation of our central ministers, which is definitely embarrassing for them.