Statement from the Spokesperson of the Ministry of Railways on the News Item Related to Expenditure on Movement of Official Files Published in A Section of Media on August 23, 2010
In connection with the above news item (mostly sourced to agencies), this statement is to put the record straight. The full context of an RTI reply, on which the said news item is based, is given below:-
1. There are two aspects of the news item carried by a section of media. Firstly, an impression has been created that frequently files have been carried to Kolkata by officials attached to Railway Minister for her consideration. Secondly, the expenses for travel of these officials for this purpose, of around Rs.11 lakhs in one year as mentioned in the said news items give an impression as if the expenditure on travel of officials is made for carrying the files. Both these impressions are erroneous.
2. It is clarified that hardly ever files have been carried to Kolkata for clearing from the Railway Minister, except in a few emergent cases.
3. Officials attached with the Minister of Railways accompany the Minister as per the entitlement of a Union Minister. Most of such travels are part of the duty of the personal staff attached to the Union Minister, and have little to do with the clearance of file work.
4. Number of travels by the other officials of the Railway Minister to Kolkata or to any other place, are undertaken, inter-alia, for various official purposes; (a) to discuss official issues with the Zonal Railways, (b) attending railway functions, (c) review of projects, etc.
5. Hence it is misleading and out of context to club the travel expenses of the Minister’s staff as having been incurred for one single task of clearance of files from the Railway Minister.