Saturday, July 30, 2005
One hell of a taxi ride
The Indian Express examines the audit reports of the Sports Authority of India, and finds some bizarre expenses. They report:
For instance, in the 2002-03 SAI audit report (the latest), the auditors objected to the irregular manner in which SAI raised bills for hiring taxi for former ministers, BJP’s Uma Bharati and Vikram Verma, to the tune of Rs 87,483 for a single day, August 31, 2002. Interestingly, Verma who succeeded Bharati was the minister on that day.And there's more. Note that this is our money, it comes from the taxes that we pay. I find it odd that so many people, especially on the Left, scoff at the opulent lifestyle of celebrities, who spend their own money, but don't cavil much about the monstrous misuse of our funds by the government. In fact, they often want to expand the role of government, giving it more discretion and thus more scope for corruption and wastage. Strange.
The auditors noted: "All the bills are verified by Shri Ravinder Singh, PA to the Minister (Uma Bharati). Such expenditure could not be allowed as expenditure of the society as the Ministers of the Government of India do not travel in taxis."
Besides this entry for taxi bills, there are other entries of a "similar nature." Two other taxi vouchers for Bharati and Verma have been raised by SAI for Rs 98,479 and Rs 98,230—for October 31, 2002 and January 21, 2003.