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Ministry foots bill of Kamal Nath's foreign trips

Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways and the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) have spent over Rs.86 lakh in just over a year in bearing the expenses of the entourage of junior ministers and officials accompanying its Cabinet Minister Kamal Nath on his foreign trips.

Mr. Nath made as many as 17 tours in just about 13 months after taking over the Ministry with the return of the UPA government in May 2009. The expenditure entailed by him is part of the money spent by the Ministry and the NHAI because the Cabinet Secretariat bore the outgo.

Mr. Nath visited Singapore thrice, Switzerland (Zurich and Davos), London, Washington and New York twice each, and Colombo, Bangkok, Malaysia, Japan, Hong Kong, Canada, Jakarta and Finland once each. The expenditure was more than Rs.10 lakh on at least four occasions, the costliest being a two-day visit to Zurich in August 2009, which cost the Ministry and the NHAI almost Rs.13 lakh. This does not include the expenditure incurred by Mr. Nath.

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