‘Amount allocated for hire of vehicles warrants a probe’
The Forum for Good Governance (FGG) has requested for an inquiry into the excess expenditure incurred by the office of Director of Protocol, Telangana, during the current financial year.
In a letter addressed to the Governor of the State on Saturday, secretary of FGG M. Padmanabha Reddy stated that a casual look at the amount spent by the Protocol Department, particularly on two sub-heads — other office expenses (hospitality charges like providing tea and others) and hiring private vehicles — was abnormally high.
The allocation for the “other office expenses” for the year (2021-22) was ₹8 crore as mentioned in the budget estimated presented to the State Legislature and got approved earlier this year. The amount would translate into the spend at ₹2 lakh per day for providing tea and biscuits (refreshments) in the Secretariat.
Similarly, in spite of the office of Director of Protocol having vehicles at its disposal for the travel needs of guests, the allocation of ₹8.9 crore made in the budget estimates for hiring vehicles. “Expenditure on the two sub-heads appears to be quite abnormal and needs a probe,” Mr. Padmanabha Reddy felt in the letter.
He requested the Governor to order for an inquiry into the matter by either Director General of Vigilance & Enforcement or Anti-Corruption Bureau to control the leakage of funds. A copy of the budget estimates for the office of Director of Protocol has also been attached to the letter.
Mr. Padmanabha Reddy said the Protocol Department is a wing of the General Administration Department, which takes care of the arrangements for all VVIPs and VIPs during their officials and non-official visits. The State guests are accommodated in State Guest Houses and others. The protocol wing also takes care of providing tea and refreshments during the meetings held in Secretariat.
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