Karnataka Forest Minister Eshwar Khandre assures resolving PM’s bills issue amicably

Bengaluru, May 25 (PTI) Karnataka Forest Minister Eshwar Khandre on Saturday said that the hospitality bill of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who arrived in Mysuru in April last year to commemorate 50 years of Project Tiger, which runs up to Rs 80 lakh, will be settled amicably.

Following media reports that the hotel where the prime minister had stayed has threatened to find legal recourse to recover his dues, Khandre said he will try to resolve the issue amicably.

“The cost of the three-day event last year was Rs 6.33 crore. Out of this, Rs 3 crore had been received and still Rs 3.33 crore are due from NTCA,” Khandre’s office quoted him as saying in a statement.

The minister said the stay at the star hotel cost about Rs 80 lakh.

“When this programme was held in April 2023, the Model Code of Conduct for Assembly Elections was in force and therefore the state government was not involved. Neither was the use of the state emblem. It was a complete National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) programme,” he said.

The minister added that the officials of the forest department were in the committee formed locally to manage the hospitality in the wake of the prime minister’s visit to the state.

He explained that NTCA had actually said that they would bear the entire cost of the programme.

“The NTCA has not paid this amount (hotel cost) even though the officials of our department have written many letters and spoke about this over the phone. Now the matter has come to my attention. I will try to resolve it amicably,” Khandre said.

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