Himachal Govt spends crores on luxury vehicles

Shimla Aug 31, 2016 (TOI): While the poor hilly state of Himachal Pradesh have been reeling under Rs 36,000 crore debt but this has not bothered the politicians heading different boards and corporations of the state government as they have splurged Rs 3.2 crore in last three years to buy costly vehicles to discharge their “official duty”. Surprisingly, 11 boards and corporations in the state are running into huge losses for several years.

In response to a question asked by Sarkaghat MLA of BJP Inder Singh, chief minister Virbhadra Singh gave this information in the just concluded Vidhan Sabha session.

During last three years over Rs 2.05 crore was spent on buying 15 new vehicles for the chairmen and over Rs 1.13 crore on buying eight new vehicles for the vice-chairmen of different boards and corporations.

Inder Singh said that in last three years, 34 new vehicles were purchased by the government for the officials of various boards and corporations while there are total 42 vehicles. He said only the vehicle of state SC/ST development corporation costs Rs 9 lakh, while remaining vehicles cost around Rs 16 lakh. He said what was the need for the government to buy such costly vehicles when the state is burdened under Rs 36,000 crore debt. He also questioned the CM about the maximum limit of price range and norms for the vehicles to be purchased.

Virbhadra Singh said, “There are a number of chairmen and vice chairmen of various boards and corporations. It is imperative that they should be provided with vehicles, so as to make functioning proper and easy.” He added that most of the new vehicles have been sanctioned in replacement of the old ones which completed two lakh kilometres or eight years. Virbhadra said, except in one case, funding of vehicles has been done by the boards and corporations from their own resources.

Nahan MLA Rajeev Bindal (BJP) said ministers are chairman of some boards and corporations and vehicles have been provided to them too along with vice-chairmen. He said in state forest corporation chairman and vice-chairman were new vehicles worth Rs 12.44 lakh and Rs 14.66 lakh respectively. He said two vehicles have been provided to chairman of state civil supplies corporation having cost of Rs 13.86 lakh and Rs 22.3 lakh. He asked the reasons for which Rs 22 lakh vehicle was given to chairman (transport, food, civil supplies and consumer affairs minister G S Bali) in the state government.

The list provided by the government has revealed that as chairman of Himachal road transport corporation, Bali was provided with vehicle having cost of Rs 14.38 lakh. He may have returned the government vehicle provided to him as the cabinet minister but as chairman of two corporations, he got three vehicles on which total Rs 50.54 lakh was spent.

List of name of corporation and cost of vehicles:

Himachal Pradesh Housing and Urban Development Authority (HIMUDA)
Chairman- Rs 14.84 lakh
Vice-Chairman- Rs 15.58 lakh

HP State Agriculture Marketing Board
Chairman- Rs 16.08 lakh
Vice-Chairman- Rs 16.03 lakh

HP State Pollution Control Board
Chairman- Rs 13.21 lakh

HP Tourism Development Corporation Ltd.
Vice-Chairman- Rs 14.34 lakh

HP State Co-Operative Milk Producers Federation
Chairman- Rs 12.81 lakh

HP State Forest Corporation Ltd.
Chairman- Rs 12.44 lakh
Vice-Chairman- Rs 14.66 lakh

HP State Planning Board
Vice-Chairman- Rs 13.17 lakh

HP State Civil Supplies Corporation Ltd
Chairman- Rs 13.86 lakh and Rs 22.30 lakh

HP State Corporative Marketing & Consumer Federation
Chairman- Rs 10.25 lakh

HP Backward Classes Finance and Development Corporation.
Chairman- Rs 13.79 lakh

HP Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe Development Corporation
Chairman- Rs 9.7 lakh

HP Tourism Development Board
Vice-Chairman- Rs 13.19 lakh

HP Water Management Board
Vice-Chairman- Rs 14.56 lakh

HP Ex-Servicemen Corporation.
Chairman- Rs 11.4 lakh

HP State Wool Federation Limited
Chairman- Rs 11.68 lakh

Himachal Pradesh Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Board
Chairman- Rs 14.81 lakh

(Story courtesy: Times of India)

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