news Tuesday, April 07, 2015 - 05:30

The News Minute | July 16, 2014 | 6.43 pm IST

(Comment)

We wish him a speedy recovery and good health, but we have to ask this question - why is the government of Karnataka footing Housing Minister M.H. Ambareesh’s medical bill which stands at INR 1.16 crore?

The man is not poor, he is a super-star. The tax payer is not told anything about the nature of the ailment which required Ambareesh to be flown to Singapore, but the same tax payer has to pitch in for the bill. No explanations, not even a semblance of it. 

According to Government of India rules (Medical Attendance Rules 1958), ministers must be treated in the country if facilities exist and the maximum reimbursement in such cases is around INR 5 lakhs. 

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah who is also the state’s finance minister has personally cleared the bills leading to questions about preferential treatment to the powerful and the rich in a country where 680 million people go to bed on a hungry stomach. On Wednesday, he told journalists that the law allowed to him grant concessions.

The medical expenses that the state government has undertaken to reimburse are travel costs of his wife and three doctors who accompanied Ambareesh to Singapore, the bills at the Singapore hospital, besides his expenses at the Bangalore hospital.

The state witnessed a lot of dramatic scenes at the hospital in Bangalore where the actor was initially taken to. Fans turned up at the hospital demanding that they be allowed to see him. His family had to plead with them, to make them go away.

Ambareesh had been admitted to hospital between February 21 and 28 in Bangalore, and was then airlifted to Singapore where he stayed until March 22.

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