20 meets to clear Rs112 travel bill
Rajasthan Chief Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi\'s claim for Rs 112 against his Travel Allowance bill was rejected by the state finance department and was cleared only after Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje intervened in the matter.
Jaipur: Rajasthan Chief Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi's claim for Rs 112 against his Travel Allowance bill was rejected by the state finance department and was cleared only after Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje intervened in the matter.
Senior officials had to hold 20 meetings to resolve the problem. The matter came to light when senior BJP leader Ghanshyam Tiwari revealed it during the short session of the Assembly that concluded on Thursday.
The session was called to ratify the Constitution 121 Amendment Bill, 2014, which proposes setting up of a new system for appointment of judges, which was passed by the Parliament recently.
After returning from a recent visit to New Delhi, Mehrishi had submitted his air travel bill for Rs 13,112, which included the service charge of Rs 112.
The accounts department cleared Rs 13,000, but refused to reimburse Rs 112 of the service charge, Tiwari told the House on Wednesday.
This annoyed Mehrishi, who wrote a protest note demanding the reimbursement of the service charge too.
It snowballed into a controversy, which forced senior bureaucrats, including the finance secretary, to hold 20 official meetings which resulted in a bulky file.
The file eventually reached state Chief Minister Raje through the finance secretary to take a final call on the matter, Tiwari said. Finally Raje, relaxing certain rules, cleared the file and the Chief Secretary had the last laugh.
Tiwari, whose uncordial relations with Raje is an open secret, asserted that he was not against paying Rs 112 to the Chief Secretary as it could have been his rightful claim, but it was certainly revealing of the functioning of the state bureaucracy. Tiwari said the incident also reveals that bureaucracy had developed the expertise to complicate things in legal wrangling, to the detriment of the system.
He demanded a legislation to check the bureaucratic set-up as was adopted for the judges. Officers of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) give promotions to themselves, they have got 120 laws legislated for themselves while there was neither departmental promotion committee nor any set process for their promotion, he said. Referring to the large number of IAS officers in the rank of additional Chief Secretary in the state, he asserted that soon there will be no departmental secretary, but only additional chief secretaries.