Rajya Sabha to buy new cars for deputy chairman, leader of opposition
The Rajya Sabha owns about 25 cars, but most of them are either old or have frequent servicing issues, requiring their replacement.Updated: Feb 22, 2020 00:30 IST
Rajya Sabha deputy chairman Harivansh Narayan Singh and leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad may get to ride brand new vehicles soon. The Upper House is set to buy news cars after a hiatus of five years when no vehicles were purchased for reasons of austerity.
The Rajya Sabha owns about 25 cars, but most of them are either old or have frequent servicing issues, requiring their replacement.
“The cars used by Azad and Harivansh were both bought in 2009. They need to be urgently replaced,” said a senior Rajya Sabha official who requested anonymity, adding that both leaders would be consulted before their cars are ordered.
Desh Deepak Verma, secretary-general of the Upper House, constituted a five-member panel of senior officials on February 14 to “review the fleet strength and examine the current requirement of vehicles in a holistic manner”.
The panel, which will submit its report by the first week of March, will also “recommend purchase of new vehicles along with the make and model to be procured and its mode of procurement”, said an internal note circulated by the stores section of the Rajya Sabha secretariat.
Senior officials of the Upper House pointed out that in the last few years, the staff strength of the secretariat had increased and additional cars had become a necessity. “But the idea is not to buy a huge fleet of cars. A small number of cars would be replaced and a few additional cars might be purchased depending on the committee’s findings,” said a second official, also requesting anonymity.
Rajya Sabha chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu has been in office only since August 2017, and there is no immediate need for his official car to be replaced. Naidu uses the car given to him in his capacity as the vice-president.
About 18 out of the 25 cars of the RS are used by senior officials and the remaining vehicles are used as pool cars for other officers during Parliament sessions.
The review of the RS fleet comes after a gap of five years. The Centre has lifted the ban on purchase of new cars enforced during an austerity drive.