Union Tourism Minister Chiranjeevi, who is already being criticized for excessive spending on World Tourism Conference, is now under scanner for a recent award given to Apollo Hospitals.
At a time when there are clouds over the propriety and ethics of those who hold high public office, documents obtained using RTI act raise some disturbing questions over the procedure adopted in awarding the ‘Best Medical Tourism’ facility award given to ‘Apollo Hospitals” by the Union Ministry of Tourism.
Noted RTI activist Rakesh Dubbudu obtained documents related to the award given away by Union Tourism Ministry recently. The documents reveal that the AP state government had sent an IAS officer to represent the entry of Apollo Hospitals for the “Best Medical Tourism Facility Project” award. While the Tourism Ministry received 5 entries from different states under this category, no other entry was represented by a government official. Only senior staff from the respective hospital/healthcare facility have attended the selection meeting. Strangely, the AP Government sent senior IAS officer Smt Chandana Khan, who is also Special CS to Govt (Tourism & Culture) to represent Apollo Hospitals entry.
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Why did a government IAS officer attend personally for award selection on behalf of a private party ‘Apollo Hospitals’, when none of the other entries in this category were represented by their respective state Government? (Check Evaluation sheet above)
Why did the state Govt take up the cause of a private party? If it is about enhancing the image of the state, then many private entities apply for many such awards. Is the state govt equally promoting them?
Propriety demands that the state govt stayed away from this specially because the Union Tourism Minister Chiranjeevi is directly related to the promoters of this hospital.
The question here is not whether ‘Apollo Hospitals’ deserves this award or not, but should the state government have taken so much interest specially when the promoters of the hospital are related to Union Tourism Minister ‘Chiranjeevi’ specially after the recent episodes of how relatives of union ministers have taken advantage of their position?