The Hush Post|12:50 pm|2-min-read
Two Chandigarh cadre IAS officers splurged Rs 60 lakh from government funds on foreign jaunts, an audit report has revealed. The officers visited three countries, France (Paris), Spain (Barcelona) and Germany. The amount for these long jaunts involved “unjustified” overstay.
A news report in The Hindustan Times revealed that the local audit department has raised objections on the foreign visits of the two officers. The funds belonged to the Society for Promotion of Information and Technology (SPIC), Department of Information Technology, UT administration. The two IAS officers in question are SB Deepak Kumar, the then SPIC president, and Prince Dhawan, the then SPIC chief executive officer (CEO). Both belong to the UT cadre. They have since moved out of the Chandigarh Administration on routine transfers.
According to the HT news report, SB Deepak Kumar visited Paris for the ‘Smart Countries and Cities Congress’ from September 1 to 3, 2015. He spent around ₹18 lakh. It was found that the officer overstayed till September 7. Moreover, despite getting daily allowance of ₹40,000, the officer purchased a Euro travel card for ₹4 lakh. The daily allowance continued till September 7.
SB Deepak Kumar and Prince Dhawan visited Barcelona on another smart city expo from November 17 to 19, 2015. They spent around ₹10 lakh.
The audit report found that the officers overstayed for six days and got a daily allowance of ₹1.15 lakh for the nine-day visit. The officers purchased a Euro travel card worth ₹2 lakh despite being paid the daily allowance.
Both of them visited Germany from March 14 to 18, 2016, for a ‘Make in India’ event and spent around ₹29 lakh. The officer overstayed eight days and even visited Rome in Italy and spent ₹14 lakh from SPIC funds.
This is how, the present CEO of SPIC Arjun Sharma reportedly reacted when questioned, “I have not read the report yet.”