Himachal pays through the nose hosting ‘state guests’

Shimla: Himachal Pradesh seems to be a favourite jaunt for judges, government officials and politicians when it comes to holidaying on govt money. The state government has hosted 272 ‘state guests’ in the last two years despite its poor financial condition.

‘As many as 272 dignitaries and the staff accompanying them were made state guests (entitled to free board and lodging and travel during their visits) from Jan 1, 2008, to Feb 2, 2010,’ Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal said in a written reply to a question by Congress legislator Mukesh Agnihotri.

Out of these, judges, both serving and retired, of various high courts and the Supreme Court had been extended hospitality 65 times, according to Dhumal’s reply.

‘The prominent guests from judiciary were Justice V.K. Bali, chairman of Central Administrative Tribunal, and Justice D.K. Jain of the Supreme Court,’ he said.

Justice Bali was extended status of a state guest 10 times in this period.

‘Judges of the Allahabad High Court were also extended hospitality for four days from July 11, 2008, incurring an expenditure of Rs.1,24,482,’ Dhumal said.

Teams from the National Defence College and organisations like the Dental Council of India, the Medical Council of India and the site selection committee for Indian Institute of Technology have also availed the state’s hospitality.

‘A team of the National Defence College comprising 17 members enjoyed the state’s hospitality from Jan 31, 2008, to Feb 3, 2008, incurring an expenditure of Rs.1,47,099,’ said Dhumal.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader L.K. Advani also enjoyed state guest status along with 21 other party leaders from Aug 18, 2009, to Aug 22, 2009. The leader of the opposition in the Lok Sabha at that time, Advani enjoyed the hospitality when he was here to attend the BJP’s Chintan Baithak.

According to Dhumal’s reply, the cost of Advani’s five day stay was Rs.432,368.

Spiritual leaders Brahamrishi Kumar Swami and Anandmurti Guru Maa also enjoyed the state’s hospitality but the latter incurred the lowest expenditure – Rs.28 – on her stay.

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3 Responses to "Himachal pays through the nose hosting ‘state guests’"

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Himachal pays through the nose hosting ‘state guests’ | Himachal Live -- Topsy.com

  2. rivesh   April 10, 2010 at 6:25 am

    Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia- a true socialist had clearly stated that the people holding political/economic/social power drive the whole system according to their suitability.
    Circuit houses/Seperate roads/luxury vehicles/Seperate schools/seperate curriculum are only few examples that approves this statement.

    Different curriculum/boards not only widen the gaps of social opportunity but also minimise the competition for thses elites.

    Price rise is no issue whenever our household income reaches certain level. Then we become critic of such protests. We have double standards for protesting against system depending upon our suitability.

    The country is against Maoists after a recent massacre. The people of a country that “let Ganesha drink milk in a day”, are hysterical take sides immediately. We want Sachin out when he fails to score India a win and make him the God of cricket when he makes quick centuries.
    We need to think rationally and systematically to tackle each problem. I have some suggestions.
    1) Identify the problem areas in system along with good points. Avoid direct and indirect self/system praise. The strengths do not need much of our acclaim except during war but weaknesses are needed to be identified for solutions.
    2) Self introspection is needed several times daily to avoid things which contribute to weakening of the system. It is more important because despite being idealistic we ourselves commit many mistakes because of being born and brought up in the system.
    3) Try your best to build a public opinion. Discuss the issues, problems, solutions in public. Do not push your argument but derive a logical conclusion. Truth always wins. U can write/discuss issues on news blogs/social blogs/newspapers/magazines. This is a very effective medium. Your words may become arsenal for many readers in their public discussions which multiplies geometrically.
    4) Start with reform movement at state level first. If it succeeds, the country will definitely face the heat.

    All our problems are directly related to bad governance which is otherwise controlled by the people in world’s biggest democracy. Developing countries cannot see honest politicians/bureaucrats unless rule of law exists or there is a provision of minimum social security for all in the system. “In the name of democratic decentralization we are creating more hands top eat into public coffers” I firmly rally behind this quote despite all the justifications by band wagon of babus and netaas.
    We perhaps do not want to accept this reality of new India and jump to the conclusion to military wipe out the naxalism which is affecting about one third of the Indian region.

    Adjust to the system till you get opportunity or work for revolution.
    The poem written by Dushyant Kumar will be touching to even those who have slightest rebel within.
    आग जलनी चाहिए

    हो गई है पीर पर्वत-सी पिघलनी चाहिए
    इस हिमालय से कोई गंगा निकलनी चाहिए

    आज यह दीवार, परदों की तरह हिलने लगी,
    शर्त लेकिन थी कि ये बुनियाद हिलनी चाहिए

    हर सड़क पर, हर गली में, हर नगर, हर गाँव में
    हाथ लहराते हुए हर लाश चलनी चाहिए

    सिर्फ हंगामा खड़ा करना मेरा मकसद नहीं,
    सारी कोशिश है कि ये सूरत बदलनी चाहिए

    मेरे सीने में नहीं तो तेरे सीने में सही
    हो कहीं भी आग, लेकिन आग जलनी चाहिए।

  3. Varun   April 11, 2010 at 1:05 pm

    Interesting but can we do without the state guests


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