Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Are our MLAs sick? Medical bills Rs 5 crore RTI Reply: Govt Has No Info On Their Diseases

Our elected representatives are quick to point out how low their salaries are. But what’s not disclosed is the hidden perks they enjoy. For example, in a society where universal healthcare is a distant dream, MLAs receive life-time free medical aid from the government for their families and themselves even if they make it to the Vidhana Soudha just once. When the figure is totted up, it works out to a hefty sum: Rs 5.2 crore, for example, between January 2007 and October 2009 in Karnataka. An MLA has availed of Rs 17.68 lakh from the government as medical reimbursement in just 10 months! The best part is the government has no clue about the disease he is suffering
from. Ashok Mahadevappa Pattan (P M Ashok), a Congress MLA from Ramdurg in Belgaum
district, is the man who has received this sum after submitting bills. In 2009, from January to October, except three months — January, May and September — he has got reimbursements from the government. The highest was in February, when he got Rs 5,83,710.

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