Friday, 14 December 2012

Govt to cough up Rs 70 lakh for Munda sons' treatment

Govt to cough up Rs 70 lakh for Munda sons' treatment
Clean Media Correspondent

RANCHI, Dec 14 (CMC) The Jharkhand cabinet on Thursday approved Rs 70 lakh towards the treatment of chief minister Arjun Munda's son for a rare illness.

The proposal was forwarded by the department of cabinet coordination. After several adjustments, the council of ministers approved expenses for travelling, accommodation, food, conveyance, treatment and any other exigencies for Munda, his wife Meera and two sons, Abhinav and Avinash, in the US.

The council also approved proposal to pay travel expenses of Tapas Mallick, Munda's personal secretary, from government coffers.

Munda's sons suffer from a congenital blood disease and have been undergoing treatment in the US since 2005. During the 11-day trip, Munda and his family will visit Chicago, San Diego, California and Illinois for treatment and medical review.

The state health council had pegged the expenses at Rs 70 lakh. According to sources in the department, approval of the council of ministers has been taken to meet escalation in the cost.

The decision irked the opposition in the state. CPI(ML) MLA Vinod Singh said: "We have no complaints for meeting the expenses but expect similar provisions for family members of state government employees too."

On this, Dr Praveen Chandra, director-in-chief, health services, said state employees' can avail of reimbursement benefits for treatment of critical ailments. When asked if the reimbursement includes expenses on travelling and accommodation, Chandra denied it and said an approval of the medical board is necessary.

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