Karnataka to purchase new vehicles for ministers, MPs at cost of Rs 13.8 crore; Oppn slams move

3 months ago 5

According to a circular, the Yediyurappa government has increased the allowance of ministers and MPs to buy vehicles to Rs 23 lakh.

According to a circular, the Yediyurappa government has increased the allowance of ministers and MPs to buy vehicles to Rs 23 lakh (File photo)

The Karnataka government has given its approval for the purchase of new Innova cars for its 32 ministers and 28 MPs at a cost of Rs 13.8 crore. According to a circular, the Yediyurappa government has increased the allowance of ministers and MPs to buy vehicles to Rs 23 lakh.

According to government rules, ministers are allowed to change their cars after they complete one lakh km run or seven years after purchase. The old cars are then stationed in district headquarters and are used for transport requirements of VIPs during their visits.

The Opposition came down heavily on the BJP government, with former chief minister HD Kumaraswamy saying the decision should have been postponed for a year in view of the financial crisis due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

"They have taken a loan of around Rs 85,000 crore in the name of the coronavirus pandemic. How should you utilise all this money? If they deferred purchasing these new vehicles by another year, nothing would have happened. I do not know what the urgency was," he said.

Congress' Lavanya Ballal also echoed a similar sentiment, saying the purchase of new vehicles would be an "unnecessary expense on an already burdened and empty exchequer".

"The government claims it has no money to pay its staff, be it KSRTC bus drivers or teachers and they are wasting money on new cars," she said. "When people are not being able to survive, is your comfort more important than the survival of these citizens who have voted for you?" she asked.

Between 2010 and 2016, 217 new cars were bought in Karnataka - 94 during the first three years of the BJP government and 127 under the Congress regime.

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