KID director claims monthly phone bill of Rs 84,000

KID director claims monthly phone bill of Rs 84,000

Karnataka Institute of Diabetology (KID) Director K R Narasimha Setty’s mobile bill claim not only overshot the Rs 3,000-limit set by the government, but also beats the price of many best phones. Setty had sought reimbursement of Rs 84,286 per month for calls made between June 23 and July 22, 2011.

Documents with Deccan Herald reveal that the director, who is already facing several accusations, show Setty claiming exorbitant reimbursement for mobile and medical bills.
The whopping mobile bill of Rs 84,000 was in addition to Rs 1,533 (residence) landline bill. The total claim, therefore, stood at Rs 85,819.

The State government, which appoints the director of the KID, limits the reimbursement amount for mobile phones for all heads of departments to Rs 3,000.

As per the internal records of the institute, the director has self-approved the claim and also justified it: “Calls which could not have been postponed or avoided were made. The bill, therefore, may be paid.”

In another instance, Dr Setty has claimed Rs 99,885 for a plastic surgery his daughter had undergone. While the government allows its servants to claim medical reimbursements as per Karnataka Medical Attendance Rules, the amount claimed by Dr Setty goes through the ceiling set by the government.

An official in the Department of Health and Family Welfare, familiar with the reimbursement procedure, pointed out that reimbursement for plastic surgery can be claimed only in cases of severe burns or accidents. The State government allows reimbursement as per the Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) tariff, which lists five types of plastic surgeries including nose, eyes and facial paralysis.

More importantly, the maximum reimbursement permitted is Rs 12,000, for facial paralysis. Even if one were to add up the amount for all types of plastic surgeries under CGHS, it would come to Rs 36,000.

The Medical Education Department has received at least seven complaints from different people alleging huge financial irregularities at the institute. In January 2014, the department even sent the director a note, seeking clarification to the allegations.

In his reply, Dr Setty refuted all the allegations: “I refute all allegations against me as ill-conceived and mischievous with a view to malign me.”

He said he was “deeply hurt” by the action initiated by the government. “It gravely affects my reputation. I have always put the interest of the institute above me, but it appears that the government tends to believe the complainants more than the director it appointed.”

There are complaints that the director has been continuing in the position beyond the tenure and age limit.

As per initial KID regulations, the first director’s tenure was three years or until he attains 62 years of age. Dr Setty has been the director since the inception of KID in 2007.

Seven complaints against Setty

On January 21, the Undersecretary, Department of Health and Family Welfare (Medical Education), wrote to the director with regard to seven complaints against Dr Setty.
The letter reads: “There are serious allegations. The government has taken a serious cognisance of the complaints.”

Documents show that Medical Education Minister Sharan Prakash Patil too had pointed out in a governing council meeting of KID in December 2013 that the institute was making “extremely high” expenditure on printing and stationery.

Patil had stated that “expenditure should be limited to minimum and that quality need not necessarily imply high expenditure.”

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