It seems the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh, leaves no stone unturned when it comes to earning brownie points, if its expenditure in lakhs just to please the political bosses is to be believed.
The medical institute continues to spend around Rs 10 lakh a year on a car and driver that it has deployed for the union health minister in Delhi since April 2010. Interestingly, there is no provision to do so in the PGIMER Act or the institute's rules.
Ironically, the Ambassador (CH01-G-1753) was deputed with the health ministry despite the fact that the institute faces eternal shortage of official vehicles, while the ministry doesn't have any dearth of cars.
The union health minister is also president of the governing body of the institute.
Sources in the PGIMER administration revealed that it was common practice among different medical institutes governed by the union health ministry to depute their cars for the ministry.
They also revealed that the car was being used there by the lower level officials in the ministry.
"It has been hardly used for the PGIMER works in all these years, and is often used by personal staff of the senior babus," a PGIMER officer, who wished not to be named, said.
An annual audit report of the institute in 2012 had already drawn flack for the largesse. The report had observed that during 2012, the PGIMER spent Rs 5.3 lakh on fuel, Rs 2.5 lakh on driver's salary and Rs 1 lakh on the car's repair.
The institute was asked to explain "the circumstances and reasons under which the services of the official/driver along with vehicle deputed at Delhi, were utilised may be justified to audit."
However, the PGIMER administration didn't pay any heed to the objection raised by the audit.