Patna: Fourteen ministers in Bihar, one of India`s poorest and most economically backward states, spent a whopping Rs 47.34 lakh on petrol in about 19 months, a query under the Right to Information (RTI) Act has revealed.
The details of expenses by 14 ministers were made public Saturday by the opposition Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD).
"Ministers used fuel with the money provided by the poor people of the state - all in the name of development without any honest move," state RJD president Abdul Bari Siddiqui told a news agency.
According to the figures provided through the RTI Act, the bill for Tourism Minister Ram Parvesh Rai alone was a staggering Rs 33 lakh in about 19 months.
Siddiqui said Rai spent Rs 28.31 lakh in 2008-09 and Rs 4.81 lakh till Oct 10 in fiscal 2009-10.
Other ministers are not far behind.
Science and Technology Minister Anil Kumar spent Rs 7.32 lakh April 2008-October 2009.
Ministers of human resource development, cooperatives, industry, building construction minor irrigation, and information and public relations spent Rs 2-4 lakh each on petrol in the same period.
After Chief Minister Nitish Kumar came to power in 2005, his government removed the fuel quota restrictions for ministers as well as department secretaries and provided two official vehicles to each minister.
In the previous government headed by the RJD, a minister was entitled to only 270 litres of petrol in a month and a single car.