Karnataka minister undergoes treatment, govt to foot the Rs 1.16 crore bill

The 61-year-old actor turned politician was admitted to a hospital on February 21 after he complained of breathlessness.

By: Press Trust of India | Bangalore | Updated: July 17, 2014 3:58 pm
ambreesh-L The government will reimburse the amount that Ambareesh paid for treatment at Mount Elizabeth hospital. (Source: Express photo)

Karnataka government has decided to reimburse the medical bill to the tune of Rs 1.16 crore incurred on Housing Minister Ambareesh for his treatment, triggering a controversy over spending tax payers’ money.

The 61-year-old actor turned politician was admitted to a hospital on February 21 after he complained of breathlessness and was later shifted to Mount Elizabeth hospital in Singapore for further treatment. He returned here on April 11.

According to a notification issued by the Department of Personnel and Administration (protocol) on July 11, government will reimburse the amount he paid for treatment at Mount Elizabeth hospital.

As per the Medical Attendance Rule of 1958, the maximum reimbursement normally is Rs 5 lakh, provided ministers avail treatment within the country if facilities are available.

When asked about this, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who also heads the Finance Department, told reporters that “In special cases we can give. It is the discretion of the government.”

Energy Minister D K Shivakumar said the government had arranged for his shifting to the Singapore hospital and moreover Ambareesh is “an asset” to Karnataka apart from being an actor.

“The government had arranged for a special flight. He was a former Union Minister and an actor. He is an asset to Karnataka,” Shivakumar said.

BJP leader and former Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar said it was not new and earlier governments had also taken such decisions. However, it was left to the government how much amount should be reimbursed, he said.

“Government has taken a decision. On other occasions also, the government has paid the amount. Whether it is higher or lower – (it) is left to them,” said Shettar, the Opposition Leader in the Legislative Assembly.

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  1. A
    Anand Arya
    Jul 17, 2014 at 12:43 pm
    What a shame. A Prime Minister of India (in office) can get treated for all his ailment at AIIMS why not this guy whose name I - a pretty enlightened soul, even if I say so myself - never heard. This is loot of tax payers's money. Unless, AIIMS recommended he had no business to get treated in Singapore - Recover from him. As an Actor - they are a dime a dozen - he made his money and should spend it - why should he get preferential treatment on Tax Payers' Money.
    1. Hemant Kathuria
      Jul 17, 2014 at 10:58 am
      Open loot by the Political cl. Where is media did not allowed 6 politicians to go to Brazil.
      1. D
        Jul 17, 2014 at 9:42 am
        Who cares, cheap politicians, cheap govt., cheap country, cheap people, majority people uneducated, poor, hungry people, what they can decide the future of India.
        1. D
          DN REDDY
          Jul 17, 2014 at 3:33 pm
          Response of the opposition is shameful. What can a taxpayer do when these jokers decide to use their discretion...
          1. J
            Jul 17, 2014 at 11:17 am
            I wonder what the Karnataka citizens need to do to become an 'et' to the state. Act in those B grade Kannada movies? or maybe just be born to someone who has acted in them and made loads of money already!!
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