Congress ‘family looting’ of India spreads beyond Gandhi family

via With Media Inputs published on March 2, 2012

What is common between P Chidambaram and Vayalar Ravi? They both are senior congress party members, they both are ministers in central government…anything more?

Yes, their sons are partners in a business. As per BJP’s allegation, they are into the business of looting this country. Ziqitza Health Care Limited was co-founded by Ravi Krishna, whose father Vayalar Ravi is the Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs. On its board of directors is Karti Chidambaram, whose father P Chidambaram is the Home Minister.

Ziqitza  was hired by Rajasthan government in 2009 to run ‘108 ambulance service’ to ensure help for emergency patients in poor and remote areas. This comes under National Rural Health Mission  lead by Central government and the scheme was started by the then health minister Anbumani Ramadoss.

At a press conference, BJP has raised allegation against Ziqitza that the company has been looting the state for crores of rupees and released many documentary evidences to support this claim. The BJP alleges that Ziqitza was hired in 2009 in “a non-transparent manner” and the contract awarded only because the promoters are heavy weights, it has been over paid in crores of rupees even to ambulances which exists only on paper.

When contacted, Rajasthan’s Health Minister Aimaduddin Ahmad  said after the irregularities were noticed the government has deducted Rs. 10 crore from Ziqitza’s bills
It is interesting to note that in Dec 2009, Supreme court had intervened in this scheme and told states to be more transparent on this deal.Ziqitza’s operations in Rajasthan were studied by Rajasthan’s financial advisor (NHRM) and the state health department because their records seemed problematic.

For instance, the financial advisor had objected to Ziqitza showing 55,000 ambulance trips in September, 2011 while the actual trips found by vigilance officials were 37,000. In the same month, the company billed the government for 50 ambulances which were “off-road” or not in use. Between March and September last year, according  to the records, the company over-billed the government by 3.5 crores, a discrepancy first pointed out by the financial advisor to the state government.

The BJP alleges that in December, the Chief Secretary of the state intervened and stopped the matter from being probed.

Facilities like Ziqitza’s ambulance services in Rajasthan are funded by the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) – the centre sends huge funds to the state to improve health services in poor and under-developed parts of the country.

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