The Centre’s Narendra Modi government has reportedly spent Rs 1.09 crore in building an office space for its minister Vijay Goel by razing an staff canteen, which the government had spent Rs 52 lakh to renovate.
A report by Indian Express said that the cost to complete the office for Goel, who was appointed as Minister of State for Statistics and Programme Implementation five months ago, is likely to go significantly up.
A senior official of the Central Public Works Department confirmed the development and told the Indian Express that Goel had inspected the construction work at his new office, on the fifth floor, last week and on Tuesday.
“Most of the work already completed was done on the advice of the Minister’s personal staff. The Minister has suggested some more modifications and alterations according to Vaastu. To comply with the latest suggestions, we may need some more money for which we will send estimates soon,” the CPWD official was quoted as saying.
The latest example of Modi government spending crores of public money to enjoy the VVIP treatment comes in sharp contrast to the central government’s austerity measures announced in 2014.
Union government in 2014, had barred bureaucrats from travelling first class on overseas visits and were asked to use video conferencing as much as possible.
The finance ministry had also barred officials from holding meetings in 5-star hotels and put a freeze on fresh appointments and filling up posts lying vacant for over one year.