Hyderabad:  T Harish Rao, finance minister of Telangana, paid Rs 50 lakh as a fine for a four-hour delay in attending a meeting.

The incident occurred at Dubbak in Siddipet district. Another interesting fact is, the fine was ‘paid’ from the government exchequer and not from the minister's pocket.

Scheduled to participate in a loan distribution programme, under the Mission for Elimination of Poverty in Municipal Areas (MEPMA) initiative at 11.30 am, Harish Rao arrived at the venue only at 3.30 pm. Apparently, the minister was stuck in another programme at Siddipet.

Upon arrival, Harish Rao asked the gathering to penalise him for not being punctual. Immediately, the women assembled on the occasion, sought the sanction of funds for the construction of a building for women.

Harish Rao directed the officials over the telephone to sanction Rs 50 lakh for the construction of a building for women at Dubbak, thus ‘paying’ the penalty.