State ministers and senior bureaucrats can now get themselves swanky new cars. And the taxpayer will pay for their new set of wheels.
Three days ago, the state government issued a notification allowing Cabinet ministers and senior bureaucrats to buy cars of their choice to replace old ones — the iconic Ambassadors and Maruti Esteems. The new cars can also be more expensive as the state’s finance department increased the cost limit from Rs 6 lakh to Rs 7.5 lakh in a July 21 notification. As reason, the department sites the increase in the cost of cars and the newer models available.
The decision will benefit about 100 officials, including 35 ministers, senior bureaucrats of the rank of chief secretary, additional chief secretary and principal secretaries, besides high court judges and chairpersons of state undertakings.
According to the notification, a prerequisite for buying a new car is that the existing car should be at least 10 years old or have covered the 2.40 lakh km. Also, the new car should be one whose spare parts are easily available.
“We are increasing the purchase limit after five years. The hike includes all taxes, so it’s not really that high,” said a senior bureaucrat.