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Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam last month paid 14.91 lakh through the State government to the Indian Air Force (IAF) for airlifting his brother O. Balamurugan from Madurai to Chennai for the latter’s “emergency medical treatment” . Mr Balamurugan along with two others (not patients) were taken by aircraft AN-32 on July 1.

Documents from the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and Tamil Nadu Government relating to the airlifting of Mr. Balamurugan showed that the formal approval for the July 1 airlift was given on July 13.

The bill of 14.91 lakh was raised by the Air Force Headquarters on July 26. Two days prior to this, Mr. Panneerselvam had gone to New Delhi to thank Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman for facilitating the airlifting, but had to return without meeting her since he did not have an appointment.

Following the raising of the bill, the Special Private Assistant to the Deputy Chief Minister communicated that 14.91 lakh was remitted into the State government account on August 14. On realisation of the funds, the Public (Special-B) Department made a payment of 14.91 lakh in favour of the Controller of Defence Accounts on September 11 through a demand draft.

According to informed sources, since the military aircraft was provided “on request from the Tamil Nadu government and on approval from the MoD” for “casualty evacuation on payment basis”, the payment was made involving the State government machinery.

English Summary

OPS pays IAF 14.91 lakh for airlifting ailing brother

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