Reacting to the Indian Express story on Kiran Bedi charging NGOs and institutions inflated travel reimbursements, Kiran Bedi today clarified that while she does not deny the charges, she hasn't used any money for personal gains. She added that she never claimed any reimbursements. Earlier today she tweeted saying, "Its very interesting to see how saving for CAUSES by choosing to travel economy makes a headline in a news paper!"
The story which appeared in t0day's national edition of the Express alleged that Bedi inflated travel expenses she has been charging NGOs and institutions which invite her for seminars or meetings. The daily which claims it is in possession of bills and invoices of Bedi's travels, goes on to say that although Bedi is entitled to rebate on Air India tickets as a gallantry award winner, she charged the institutions concerned full fare for business class tickets while she travelled in economy class.
Reacting to the allegations, Bedi told PTI, "business class travel is part of the invitation/entitlement from the event organizers/corporates I'm asked to speak at. Travelling economy is a choice despite entitlement is to ensure that
savings remain with the NGO. "(There is) no personal gain here. Sorry to disappoint detractors trying real hard to find a smoking gun. However, I
accept this kind of coverage as a part of the challenges which being in public life poses," she said adding the money "saved" went to NGO India Vision Foundation run by her.
Another tweet by Bedi said, "Traveling economy in reasonable discomfort despite entitlement is to ensure that savings remain with the NGOs. No personal gain here."
Reimbursement cheques for these fares were credited to India Vision Foundation, the NGO headed by Bedi. Her chartered accountant Suresh Vyas said that what was being seen as a 'mismatch' was actually a 'saving' done by them — with Bedi spending less than what she was reimbursed for. Vyas said the money came in handy for travels for causes for which Bedi got no remuneration.
She also said when some NGOs invite her and they cannot afford, then she travels to them using the Foundation money.
Bedi asserted that if given a choice she would prefer travelling by trains instead of airplanes and in the process save more to funds her NGO.
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Updated Date: Oct 20, 2011 12:01:03 IST