In Governor’s rule, Chairman of anti-graft body wants Rs 32 lakh Toyota Camry
Ahmed Ali Fayyaz
SRINAGAR, March 16: Believe it or not, highly placed authoritative sources insist that the Chairman of an autonomous commission, responsible to eradicate corruption in top echelons of the establishment in Jammu and Kashmir, has been adamant, surprisingly in Governor’s rule, that the State government should purchase for his official use a Toyota Camry priced at Rs 32 lakh. While as the petrol model of the super luxury saloon in India costs Rs 29 lakh, its 2015 diesel variant stands priced at Rs 32 lakh.
Sources revealed to STATE TIMES that State Motor Garage (SMG) has, strictly in accordance with Chairman’s desire, which does not even remotely match with his entitlement under rules, placed an order with an Indian dealer for a Rs 32 lakh saloon. The vehicle is expected to be delivered to the head of the anti-graft body before March 31, 2016.
Government’s Financial Code, prescribed for different classifications of public servants, makes it clear which kind of vehicles can be purchased and used by the incumbents. Sources insist that even the cost of the official vehicles used by heads and members of other commissions and boards, Advisors to Governor, Chief Secretary, Financial Commissioners, Principal Secretaries, Chief Justice and other judges of J&K High Court, Heads of Departments and Managing Directors and Chairpersons of Corporations is restricted to a limit between Rs 5 lakh to 15 lakh.
Interestingly, even an Advisor to Governor, who is usually seen travelling in a single car, was spotted last fortnight driving all alone his private car to Indira theatre in Jammu. He parked his car and went in to watch a Bollywood film like an ordinary common man.
“If the members and heads of the commissions created for fighting corruption and making politicians and bureaucrats accountable, assume this kind of a super luxurious lifestyle, how can they deliver?”, asked a top government functionary. “Who will take cognizance of this loot of State exchequer and who will do justice to the ordinary taxpayer?”
[Published in State Times March 17, 2016]