Should there be rules limiting travel expenses of Governors?
An application was filed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act seeking to know the details about the expenses incurred on the tours undertaken by the Governor of Punjab between January 2012 and May 2013.
The reply to the application states that during the said period, the Punjab Governor undertook 18 tours and the total expense on his air travel came out to be around Rs. 2 crore. The reply shows that a three day visit to Hyderabad in July 2012 cost over Rs. 16 lakh. Another trip in July 2012 cost Rs. 13 lakh and the one in August 2012 cost Rs. 14.5 lakh. Similarly air travel to Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Bathinda and Amritsar on a single day cost Rs 9 lakh. On an average, the Governor’s trips cost the state exchequer over Rs. 38,000 per day.
Though the Principal Secretary to the Punjab Governor said that there was no rule to limit the Governor’s travels as it was a privileged post, many politicians have raised questions about undertaking too many flights outside the state for non-official purposes.