Recently a team of Pune Municipal corporation (PMC) members visited city of suseong-gu in South Korea. Among members of this team there were elected members of PMC, one PMC officer and rest were the relatives of elected members. They claim that mayor of city of suseong-gu had invited them along with the members of Non-Government organisation (NGO) to sign memorandum of understanding (MoU) for friendly exchanges between the two cities.
Interestingly they also took their kins along with them touting as members of NGO, some of these so-called NGO members are not even legally adult, they are minor. Even then, they were taken to abroad as if they were the only knowledgeable and expert members in the affairs of civic issues of the city.
Now they claim that they bore all the expenses of the tour. Even if we believe that, they bore their own expenses, which is not true, why did they go on behalf of city of pune? If they went on tour on their own expenses ?, then the tour was private one and nobody will object to it. However, when you go and sign MOU on behalf of the city, it no longer remains the private tour irrespective of the question of expense. Moreover in this case expenses of official member of this team are borne by PMC itself, standing committee had passed the the resolution in that respect.
Now political parties say that people should ask suseong-gu administration about how and why they invited kins of the elected members as the members of NGO's .This is interesting argument ,and we must congratulate administration of suseong-gu because by intuition only they came to know the name, age and passport no's of kins of elected members. However they could not identify the names of NGO's these kins are related to.
Interestingly until today, there is no clue what actually this MOU was about? who allowed these people to sign on behalf of the city ?, what study was done before signing such MOU? Moreover, what pune is going to get from this MOU?
There are certain rules and regulation in place for receiving foreign hospitalities such as boarding, lodging, transport. As per office memorandum No. II/21022/58(97)/2011-FCRA-I , No member of a Legislature or office-bearer of a political party or Judge or Government servant or employee of any corporation or any other body owned or controlled by the Government shall, while visiting any country or territory outside India, not accept, except with the prior permission of the Central Government, any foreign hospitality:
In addition, foreign Hospitality means, any offer, not being a purely casual one, made in cash or kind by a foreign source for providing a person with the costs of travel to any foreign country or territory or with free boarding, lodging, transport, or medical treatment.
In addition, as per rule seven of this Office Memorandum (1) any person belonging to any of the categories specified in Section 6 who wishes to avail of foreign hospitality shall apply to the Central Government in Form FC-2 for prior permission to accept such foreign hospitality.
(2) Every application for acceptance of foreign hospitality shall be accompanied by an invitation letter from the host or the host country, as the case may be, and administrative clearance of the Ministry or Department concern in case of visits sponsored by a Ministry or Department of the Government.
(3) The application for grant of permission to accept foreign hospitality must reach the appropriate authority ordinarily two weeks before the proposed date of onward journey.
However, when administration and elected representative with hands gloves do something wrong who else is going to take action on them? Now citizen of pune should raise their voice and ask their representatives, what is going on?