The refreshments include tea and snacks like samosa and gulab jamun which were offered to guests by ministers.
In a written reply in the UP Assembly, the chief minister said 72 ministers had claimed an amount of Rs 8.78 crore as “pocket money” between 2012 and 2016 for food and other incidental expenses during official tours within and outside the state.
The ministers get an allowance of Rs 2,500 per day for tours within UP and Rs 3,000 per day outside the state. But, in practice, most of this amount is spent on feeding personal visitors and supporters.
The ministers can claim this “official” amount without providing vouchers or any other proof of the expenses.
“Ministers are the face of the government. They should be aware of their dignity and try to present an example before the people. But the Samajwadi Party ministers seem to be bent upon looting every rupee that they can lay their hands on,” asked BJP legislature party leader Suresh Khanna.
“This money is not for our pockets. It is mostly spent on serving tea and refreshments to the people who come to meet us,” says Azam Khan. “Is it a crime to give a cup of tea to a tired person who may have come to me with his problem from far?” he asked.
UP CM Akhilesh Yadav sportsnexus
Labour minister Shahid Manzoor said: “We don’t have any other source of income. So many people come to meet us at home or office. It’s difficult to keep spending from your pocket to serve them tea and refreshments.”