A query under the RTI Act has revealed that Bihar Tourism Minister Ram Parvesh Rai spent Rs 33.21 lakh on fuel in 19 months — almost Rs 1.75 lakh per month.
RJD made the revelation for the period between April 2009 and October 2010 in the state assembly on Saturday. “The tourism minister spent Rs 28.31 lakh in 2008-09 and Rs 4.81 lakh till October 10 in the fiscal 2009-10,” RJD state president Abdul Bari Siddiqui said.
The amount is almost 10 times more than what the state’s other ministers spent on fuel during the same period.
According to the figures, 14 Bihar ministers, including Rai, spent Rs 47.34 lakh on fuel.
Science and Technology Minister Anil Kumar was next in line having spent Rs 7.32 lakh, way below Rai’s Rs 33 lakh.
Ministers of HRD, SC/ST welfare, cooperatives, industry, water resource department, information and public relations, building construction, minor irrigation and rural development spent below Rs 5 lakh each on petrol in the same period.
Refuting all charges , Rai said the RJD was exaggerating. “It is true that as tourism minister and minister in-charge of districts, I travel a lot. But I don’t think my bill could have been more than Rs 4-5 lakh...”
On CM Nitish Kumar’s ‘vishwas yatra’, Siddiqui said, “Not less than Rs 15 crore is being spent on his daylong visits to each district. This is being done at the cost of state exchequer.”