SHILLONG, Aug 08: The Governor of Meghalaya and the state’s Chief Minister have now been empowered to procure their respective official vehicles not costing over Rs 40 lakhs.
This development has come about after the State Cabinet approved a proposal of the state’s transport department as per information provided by Deputy Chief Minister, Prestone Tynsong after the cabinet meeting that was held here on Wednesday.
He however informed that the cabinet also decided to put a price limit of vehicles to be used by the Governor and the Chief Minister, which was not done earlier.
“In the past, there was no price limit for purchase of vehicles for the governor and the chief minister. However, this time the cabinet felt it necessary to keep the price limit for the same which will be upto Rs 40 lakhs,” Tynsong said.
On the other hand, he said that the Deputy Chief Minister, Ministers and Chief Secretary would be allowed to purchase vehicles of their choice too but within a maximum limit of Rs 20 lakh. There is an increase by Rs 5 lakh compared to earlier rate which was at Rs 15 lakh.
According to the proposal, the Additional Chief Secretaries, Director General of Police (DGP), Principal Secretaries and Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (PCCF) would be allowed to purchase vehicle costing up to Rs 12 lakh.
Further, the maximum price of vehicle for Commissioners and Secretaries has been kept at Rs 10 lakh while for Secretaries, Deputy Commissioners and Inspector General of Police (IGP) at Rs 9 lakh, Dead of Department (HoD) at Rs 7.5 lakh and district level officers at Rs 7 lakh.
Stating that the decision was taken as it is a matter of necessity, Tynsong said, “Once in every 3-4 years, we revise the rates,” he added.
Asked whether such decision would not be questioned by the people since this government when it was formed had assured to take austerity measures, Tynsong however said, “This is a good message that we are sending to the people of Meghalaya. See all these years there was no price limit for the purchase of vehicle for governor and chief minister and they are allowed to spend upto Rs 1 crore. But we say we need to have a limit and this is part of austerity measures.”
Referring to the case in the KHADC, he however recalled that the Council’s chief, HS Shylla had at that point of time decided to dispose of the vehicles and introduced a system on hiring basis.
“If you calculated the amount on the basis of rental at Rs 600 per day, the expenditure will be more. However, we still have that system too for those who do not want to use official vehicles but we have a fixed rate for that,” he stated.