Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Spouses can join babus on tours; you'll pay

Forget the Salaries of 1 lac and above per mth and so on that the IDIOTs in media projected what India does not know is that the Oil Companies are now being made to reversal of several benefits that its officers enjoyed so many years.

These are the doings of IAS officers/ the Bureaucrats,those who are themselves corrupt and who rule PSUs. And on the other hand see? What they do?


Mon, Jun 15 09:30 PM
Get ready to again pay for the foreign jaunts of spouses of India's globetrotting bureaucrats. The government has slipped back a rule allowing bureaucrats to take free 'companion tickets' from airlines like Air India when they travel abroad to attend conferences, workshops or meetings in their official capacity.
"Government servants shall be allowed to avail the facility of free companion tickets offered by the airlines for international travel only," a memo by Simmi R. Nakra, director at the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), said last week. It reversed the bar on officials taking the free 'companion' tickets home imposed last year.
The October 2008 bar - which made violations liable for proceedings under conduct rules - was inspired by the Sixth Pay Commission report that frowned upon babudom quietly making official tours "a source of profit". But there is nothing like a free lunch.
Or ticket. Airlines like Air India offer the "free" companion tickets only when customers buy full-fare tickets, not tickets that are sold on discounts that could be even half this rate.
It gives bureaucrats an incentive to buy a full-fare ticket if he intends to take the spouse along. And they do, spending the taxpayers' hard-earned money to buy full-fare tickets ? say a First Class ticket on the Delhi-New York sector for Rs 3.52 lakh - when a discounted ticket is available for half this price, Rs 1.84 lakh.
And they do travel a lot. An RTI application last year had revealed officials travelled 5.65 crore km in 3.5 years - over 70 times a round trip to the moon which is 3.84 lakh km away.
Officials at the Department of Expenditure - that controls the government's purse strings - acknowledged the relaxation in rules had their approval. Just seven months ago, the expenditure department had ordered ministries to negotiate incentives with airlines in a way "that the benefits come to the government".
"The free companion scheme was reviewed at the request of the civil aviation ministry" where official business often necessitates international travel, an expenditure department official said. Civil aviation secretary M Madhavan Nambiar, for instance, is currently in the US. The only time the government has had some anxious moments over squandering of public money was about six years ago.
The Congress, then in the opposition, had questioned senior home ministry officials - accompanying then deputy prime minister L.K. Advani - taking their wives along. Former railway minister Lalu Prasad had some uneasy moments this week when news got out that he had gifted himself free railway passes.
But he isn't the only one. The Railway Board too, in 1996, had given retired board members and their spouses a life-time first class air-conditioned train pass, waiving a charge that had to be paid till then.
Mamta took back Lalu's pass but the bureaucracy still have theirs, said Delhi resident Subhash Agarwal, who was handed out the railway circular by Air India to explain a similar freebie that it had given its board members. The same year, 1996, when air-conditioned staff cars were considered a luxury, babus got air-conditioned cars for secretary-level officers on the ground that "protocol and representations obligations" often required them to wear formal clothes "which makes travel onerous in the absence of air-conditioners".

1 comment:

  1. Well now we can surely know the reasons for Air India slipping into the Red..!!The babus can have their Desi Madams making a Free Jumboree while the Navratnas sponser albeit-deceitly their comfortable stay and Shopping spree....Great going for the un-ashamed babus who have the face to decide everything for others while they themselves splurge...!!May they and their spouces have a really bad stomach each day whenever they venture out on honest Tax payer's money..!!


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