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Rashtriya Mukti Morcha criticises Antony's induction

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, Oct 25 (UNI) Rashtriya Mukti Morcha (RMM) president Ravinder Kumar today said newly-inducted Defence Minister A K Antony has notpaid Rs 14.69 lakhs to Air Force incurred on airlift for special flight between New Delhi and Triruvananthapuram permitted for the Chief Minister designate of Kerala in March 1995 by the then Prime Minister.

The RMM president pointed out in a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that the money is in outstanding since 1995 as per the report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG).

Mr Kumar in his letter has further pointed out that the CAG in its report has mentioned about the misuse and arbitrary use of the fleet of aircraft of the VIP squardron maintained by the Ministry and systemic deficiencies in management and control of the use of aircraft.

The check of utilisation of aircraft and settlement of bills disclosed that Mr Antony, the then Chief minister designate of Kerala was provided an airlift in a special flight in Boeing 737 aircraft of VIP squadron from New Delhi to Thiruvanantapuram on March 21, 1995 on telephonic orders from the Prime Minister's office.

The bill for Rs 14.69 lakh for use of this special flight has been repudiated by the Government of Kerala even while having accepted it in the first instance.

The note of PM's office dated March 21, 1995 conveying PM's approval for provision of Boeing 737 aircraft to carry Mr Anthony from New Delhi to Thiruvanantapuram was received in the Ministry on March 23, 1995, two days after the special flight was provided. The Ministry issued orders to Deputy Director (Operations) after another six days on March 29, 1995.

The report further mentions that scrutiny of documents further disclosed that while the approval of PM was for special flight to Mr Anthony only, six members of Parliament, one along with his spouse also made use of this special flight.

The CAG report has also mentioned that the Defence Ministry has approached the Prime Minister's Office in September 1998 for directions to State Government for expediting settlement of pending airlift bills.

Mr Kumar said that his party had earlier complained on this same issue before the Prime Minister on June 6th, 2005.

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