Karnataka to spend Rs 13.8 crore on luxury SUVs for ministers, MPs amid pandemic

Former chief minister and JDS leader HD Kumaraswamy said the decision should have been postponed for a year in view of the financial crisis due to pandemic, adding that the government has already have taken a loan of around Rs 85,000 crore in the name of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Amid a pandemic and financial crisis, the Karnataka government has approved the purchase of new Innova cars for its 32 ministers and 28 MPs at a cost of Rs 13.8 crore.

According to the order issued by the Department of Personnel and Administrative Services (DPAR), the BS Yediyurappa-led BJP government in the state has increased the allowance of ministers and MPs to buy vehicles to Rs 23 lakh.

The Opposition parties have criticised the move by the government. The former chief minister and JDS leader HD Kumaraswamy said the decision should have been postponed for a year in view of the financial crisis due to the Covid-19 pandemic, adding that the government has already have taken a loan of around Rs 85,000 crore in the name of the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to rules, ministers or elected representatives can only change their cars after they complete one lakh km run or seven years after purchase. Thereafter, this car is usually stationed in district headquarters and used for the travel requirements of VIPs during their visits to districts.

Earlier this year, Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa picked up a luxury SUV, Toyota Fortuner, which approximately costs Rs 33 lakh (ex-showroom) and 17 Toyota Innova Crystas (Rs 23 lakh ex-showroom) for state MPs.

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