Health Secy 'objects' to Rs 30 crore for Aam Aadmi Clinics' publicity, shifted : The Tribune India

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Health Secy 'objects' to Rs 30 crore for Aam Aadmi Clinics' publicity, shifted

Major part of amount was to be spent in other states: Sources



Tribune News Service

Vishav Bharti

Chandigarh, January 21

Just five days before the launch of 400 Aam Aadmi Clinics, the government’s flagship programme, Health Secretary Ajoy Sharma has been transferred as he objected to spending of Rs 30 crore on publicity of Aam Aadmi Clinics, on which the government has so far spent Rs 10 crore.

A 1999 batch IAS officer, Sharma’s role was instrumental in launching over 100 Aam Aadmi Clinics within three months of the formation of the government as he had an additional charge of the Finance Commissioner, Taxation.

The timing of the order has raised eyebrows as he was leading the launch of the clinics, which were to be opened next week by the Chief Minister. Sharma has not been given any posting so far.

According to sources, Sharma was being forced to give an administrative approval to a budget of Rs 30 crore for promotion of clinics. Sources revealed that Sharma refused to give a nod to the same, which was thrice the cost of the project.

A major portion of this budget was to be spent on publicity of these clinics outside Punjab, said sources. He allegedly even didn’t agree to the Chief Secretary’s diktat of giving administrative approval. Sources revealed that he had conveyed the same to Chief Secretary Vijay Kumar Janjua in a recent meeting. Following this, he was transferred from the department.

Freedom Fighters Principal Secretary Veerendra Kumar Meena has been given the charge of the Health and Family Welfare. Besides, Planning Principal Secretary Vikas Pratap has been given the charge of the Finance Commissioner, Taxation.

Despite repeated attempts, the Chief Secretary and Sharma could not be contacted.

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