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At “Rs 40,000 cr” debt, Telangana buys 32 costly cars for officers at Rs 11 cr

By Saima Siddiqui 
Updated Date

Telangana: Splurging extravagantly at a time when the state is reeling under a debt of around ₹ 40,000 crore and is gripped by Covid pandemic, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao bought Kia Carnival cars for 32 Additional Collectors at a cost of Rs 11 crore, drawing flak from the opposition parties of Congress and the BJP.

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ach costing an estimated ₹ 25-30 lakh each.

Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao inspected the vehicles after which the cars were flagged off on Sunday by Telangana Transport Minister Puvvada Ajay Kumar in the presence of the state Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar and other officials at Pragati Bhavan, the Chief Minister’s residence in Hyderabad.

The BJP has called the move “criminal splurge” by Chief Minister Rao to “appease bureaucrats” in the state.

“How can Chief Minister Rao justify spending over 11 crores to buy 32 ultra-luxury vehicles?” party spokesperson Krishna Saagar Rao asked.

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“He is indulging in this massive wastage of public money in the middle of a dangerous pandemic, while many poor people are dying of debt burden due to COVID-19 hospitalisation. This decision…is horrendous and unthinkable.”

His party has demanded an immediate roll back of the decision.

The Congress’s D Sravan Kumar, on the other hand, called out the “audacity” of the move.

“As such KCR (Chief Minister Rao) has pushed the surplus state of Telangana into a debt trap state with a whopping debt of ₹ 4,00,00,00,00,000. They already have government cars in good condition,” he said.

The Congress spokesperson alleged that the Telangana Rashtra Samithi government, instead of spending on ramping up the number of beds in government hospitals or buying buses for public transport was misusing public money by buying cars for bureaucrats.

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Finance Minister Harish Rao had recently stated that Telangana had lost massive revenue of upto ₹ 4500 crore due to the COVID-19 lockdown, seeking to increase the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management limit from 4 to 5 per cent to raise more loans.

Justifying the purchase of luxury cars, the Chief Minister said the additional collectors need such vehicles to tour the entire district and discharge their duties.

In 2015, Toyota Fortuners were given to district collectors. At that time there were only 10 districts in Telangana, he added.

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