A government order shows the reimbursement of medical claim of Rs 2,88,823 for finance minister Yanamala Ramakrishnudu’s root canal surgery.

Andhra govt sanctions Rs 288 lakh for root canal of Minister triggers rowImage: Facebook/Yanamala Ramakrishnudu
news Controversy Friday, August 24, 2018 - 13:04

A massive row has broken out in Andhra Pradesh after a government order stated that the cash-strapped government reimbursed Rs 2.88 lakh for finance minister Yanamala Ramakrishnudu’s root canal surgery conducted in Singapore. 

“Medical Attendance – Reimbursement of the medical claim of Rs 2,88,823 in respect of Yanamala Ramakrishnudu, Honourable Minister for Finance and Planning, Commercial Taxes and Legislative Affairs, Government of Andhra Pradesh, for Root Canal Treatment on April 12, 2018, at Azure Dental, 22 Sixth Avenue Singapore,” read the government order. 

The GO, dated August 23, states that the personal secretary to the Minister forwarded his medical bills to the government on July 17 and requested a reimbursement of the amount. 

Following this, the claim went to the Chief Executive Officer of Dr NTR Vaidyaseva Trust in Guntur, who declared that the money be sanctioned, after scrutiny of the bills on August 7.    

The GO, issued by Srikant Nagulapalli, the Secretary to the Government, also mentions that the order does not require the concurrence of Finance Department.   

The GO also states that the expenditure sanctioned shall be debited under provisions for ‘Medical Reimbursement/Advances’. 

Many took to social media to question the government, pointing out that the state has repeatedly been asking the Centre for funds, while others asked why the root canal could not have been done somewhere in Andhra itself. 

TNM has reached out to the Finance Minister for a response. TDP leaders have maintained that they would cross-check the authenticity of the GO and Ramakrishnudu would personally respond if they felt it was needed. 

However, TDP official spokesperson Lanka Dinakar in a statement dubbed it ‘propaganda’ and said that Ramakrishnudu underwent dental treatment in Hyderabad at a clinic in Jubilee Hills but had to rush to Singapore on official work for the state government.

“As he couldn’t complete the operation due to a time constraint and faced unbearable pain, he went for medical treatment in Singapore, where costs for treatment are high. Ramakrishnudu went to Singapore with the commitment to discharge his duties on behalf of the Andhra Pradesh government,” Dinakar said. 

He also pointed out that the Minister needed four ‘caps’ to be installed but did not avail that treatment in Singapore, instead choosing to get it done on his return to Hyderabad.

Ramakrishnudu, a senior TDP leader, has been vocal about the need for cooperative federalism, even rallying his counterparts from the southern states against the terms of reference (ToR) of the 15th Finance Commission. 

Several southern states had voiced their opposition against the ‘unjust’ ToR, arguing that it will end up penalising them rather than rewarding them for their achievements. 

 

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