Karnataka govt in a spot over Rs 4.5 cr deal to make 5-min film – Deccan Herald

The Commerce and Industries Department’s move to spend Rs 4.5 crore for a 5-minute film to advertise the upcoming Global Investors Meet (GIM) has created a controversy. The activists are calling the government’s move yet another example of rampant corruption.
Activists from the Karnataka Rashtra Samithi (KRS) have made the allegations based on a letter written by the Commerce and Industry Minister Murugesh Nirani to the department’s Additional Chief Secretary, E V Ramana Reddy.
In the letter dated October 21, the minister wrote that he had learnt the department had entered into an agreement with a film production company to make a 5-minute film at the cost of about Rs 450 lakh. “Such a work order involving exorbitant expenditure is not appropriate in the present (economic) condition. The work order shall be cancelled,” he said.
Also Read | Karnataka expects over Rs 5 lakh cr in investments through GIM: Nirani
The KRS, however, said the minister was trying to create an alibi. “How can a minister not know about an agreement involving such an amount? It shows the minister has no control over the department. There is also the possibility of the minister writing the letter to shift the blame on officials,” it said, adding that Rs 1.5 crore has already been released to the production company.
KRS state general secretary, in a statement, noted that the government had failed to release funds for flood and drought victims and poor artistes working for the government. “The GIM is to loot the state and a make-believe event, which ultimately caters to the vested interests. It should be cancelled and an investigation should be held into the video production agreement,” he said.
To a question, Additional Chief Secretary E V Ramana Reddy said, “The letter from the minister was received in the evening of October 21. Action will be taken as per the minister’s instructions,” he said.
 
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