Maharashtra's ministers will soon be able to procure fancier, bulkier and safer cars. On Wednesday, the state cabinet approved a proposal to increase the cap for purchase of new cars to Rs 15 lakh from the current limit of Rs 7 lakh.
Currently, many ministers use Honda City's basic model, while some travel in grand old Ambassadors. With the revised cap, they will now be able to afford swanky Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs).
Although the issue was not on the agenda in Wednesday's state cabinet meeting, it came up for discussion and chief minister Prithviraj Chavan approved of the proposal to increase the limit.
A senior minister, who said that since the cap for official cars for high court judges is Rs 15 lakh, ministers should be entitled to the same amount, tabled the proposal, it is learnt.
Some ministers, however, maintained that the decision was prompted by concerns of safety. "Cars below Rs 7 lakh are basic cars and the back seats which we occupy don't have air-bags which inflate in case of accidents. This is particularly important on highways," a cabinet minister is reported to have said.