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Madhya Pradesh CM spent Rs 3 crore on five-day US trip: RTI reply
The RTI reply revealed that the expenditure for hotel rooms and air travel was Rs.30 lakh ($46,000) each ($5,750 per head), while Rs.25 lakh was spent on taxi rides, Rs.6 lakh went for daily perks
 
An eight-member delegation led by Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan spent close to Rs.3 crore ($465,000/$58,000 per head) on a five-day US trip in February, which included giving expensive gifts to investors, the reply to an RTI querry has revealed.
 
The reply, received from the Madhya Pradesh Trade and Investment Facilitation Corporation Limited by whistle blower Ajay Dubey in July, revealed that on its visit to the US to meet American business leaders and potential investors, the delegation spent Rs.198,421 on gifts.
 
It also mentioned that 10 woollen shawls worth Rs.119,990 (Rs.11,999 each) were gifted to the guests, apart from ties and silver idols worth Rs.78,431. The visit was from January 31 to February 4 on the invitation of the US-India Business Council to meet business community leaders and investors.
 
The RTI reply also revealed that the expenditure for hotel rooms and air travel was Rs.30 lakh ($46,000) each ($5,750 per head), while Rs.25 lakh was spent on taxi rides, Rs.6 lakh went for daily perks and Rs.1.30 crore in rental for the 'Friends of MP Conclave' venue. Another Rs.75 lakh was spent on other promotional and miscellaneous charges. The total expenditure was Rs.2.96 crore over five days.
 
Among the others who accompanied the chief minister were Yashodhara Raje Scindia, the minister for commerce, industry and employment, Mohammed Suleman, principal secretary, department of commerce, industry & employment; S.K. Mishra, principal secretary to the chief minister; Vivek Aggarwal, secretary to the chief minister; Anupam Rajan, MD, of the MP Laghu Udyog Nigam Ltd. (MP Small Scale Industries Corporation); Manish Singh, MD, Madhya Pradesh Audyogik Kendra Vikas Nigam (Indore) Limited; and Devhuti Bakshi of Ernst & Young.
 
"The chief minister was planning another foreign tour to Sweden recently, but this was cancelled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. To spend almost Rs.3 crore on a five-day tour to the US is huge. It is a lot of money for a state like Madhya Pradesh. Moreover, making a foreign tour to meet potential investors when Vyapam scam was at its peak is not acceptable," Dubey told IANS.
 
Madhya Pradesh has been mired in the Vyapam scam for years but the irregularities eventually came to light when 20 people were arrested in 2013 for impersonating candidates appearing for the 2009 medical entrance examination.
 
Forty-five people associated with the Vyapam scam have died - mostly unnaturally or under mysterious circumstances.
 
The CBI has already registered 67 FIRs and launched 12 preliminary inquiries into the Vyapam scam.

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COMMENTS

Anand Vaidya

2 years ago

How much Gov money did Rahul Gandhi spend when he vanished to some far off country (Thailand?) for 56+ days?

How much did Sonia Gandhi spend from our tax money on her medical tours to USA (estimates put it at 1800 Crores).

Any RTI on these?

Srinivas

2 years ago

a simple search on expedia or booking.com would have given an idea of the cost of premium hotels in whichever cities the CM visited - A 5* hotel in Europe is usually around 200-300 Euros only, so should be similar in USA too.

Thus we can easily conclude that this was a scam - someone made money. Hopefully the CM who claims to be clean should find the guy(s) behind this and their heads should roll.

Gupta

2 years ago

We will spend all our life monitoring these tit bits of expenditure and keep missing the big picture. The total expenditure of central and state governments annually is a staggering 25 lac crore rupees approximately. But we will be lost in the details of these petty few lacs and crores on foreign trips and Parliament expenses and on the other hand scams of thousands and lacs of crores go unnoticed. Journalists in India need to grow up to focus on real issues rather than waste time on such articles. Spend the knowledge and energy on better things!

Ravi Patnaik

2 years ago

To present the right perspective, the columnist should have provided comparative data for similar visits by CMs of other states as also the effects of such visits by state CMs. Otherwise, raw data presented with out context gives disproportionate picture, particularly when it relates to activities undertaken in western nations.

Birla Corp in Rs.5,000 cr deal with Lafarge for cement units
The M.P. Birla Group on Monday said it was acquiring the cement business of Lafarge India for Rs.5,000 crore through a combination of internal accruals and fresh debt to add another 5.5 million tonnes in annual capacity.
 
Under this transaction, Birla Corp and its subsidiaries will acquire the integrated cement unit of Lafarge India at Sonadih (Chhattisgarh), a cement grinding unit at Jojobera (Jharkhand), along with Concreto and PSC brands and an excellent management team.
 
These units have a cement capacity of 5.15 million tonnes per annum (mtpa), with mineral rights over adequate reserves of limestone. Upon completion of this transaction, Birla Corp will consolidate its position in the Eastern India cement market where the demand-supply scenario and outlook continue to remain buoyant.
 
The France-based Lafarge, which itself entered India in 1999 by acquiring the cement business of Tata Steel, also has units in Rajasthan, Haryana and West Bengal. Its total cement production capacity in the Indian market is currently around 11 million tonnes.
 
"The Acquisition Business, together with the Concreto and PSC brands, perfectly fit into our strategic vision and ambition of enhancing our competitiveness in our chosen markets. I am glad to welcome new talent and leaders to our Group, who share our convictions and professional culture," chairman of Birla Corporation Harsh V. Lodha said in a statement.
 
Originally founded as a jute company in 1919, Birla Corporation quickly enhanced its cement portfolio which now contributes over 90 percent to the company's revenues.
 
With a total operational cement capacity of 10 mtpa, it has units in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. The completion of the deal will enable the company to enhance its capacity to 15 mtpa.
 
The deal is subject to approval from the Competition Commission of India and other regulatory bodies.

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Summon ex-PM Manmohan Singh in coal case: Koda urges court
Former Jharkhand chief minister Madhu Koda, an accused in a coal block allocation case, on Monday urged a Delhi court to summon former prime minister Manmohan Singh in connection with the case.
 
Koda moved his application against Manmohan Singh and two others accused in the case before Special Judge Bharat Parashar.
 
The court was hearing a case related to the allocation of Jharkhand's Amarkonda Murgadangal coal block to Jindal Steel and Gagan Sponge.
 
The court posted the matter for August 28 for further hearing.
 
Congress leader Naveen Jindal, Koda, former union minister of state for coal Dasari Narayan Rao, former coal secretary H.C. Gupta and others have been named as accused in the case.
 
They have been charge-sheeted for criminal conspiracy and cheating under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

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