The AP government on Tuesday relaxed the ban on purchase of new cars for bureaucrats, and sanctioned funds for purchase of 20 Isuzu MU7 vehicles in a bid to 'encourage' the Japanese automobile giant that had set up its assembly unit in Andhra Pradesh.
Incidentally, the Isuzu cars are the first motor vehicles to be rolled out of AP soil. The AP government has promoted the automobile sector under its 'made in Andhra Pradesh' campaign. The new vehicles will be given to senior bureaucrats including special chief secretaries.
The state government in its orders said Isuzu had offered the MU7 cars at a concessional price of Rs 19 lakh each as against the market rate of Rs 29 lakh. The state finance department said the decision was taken after the Isuzu Motors approached the government with the concession price proposal. The government allotted Rs 3.8 crore for the purchase of the vehicles.
The government has been turning down or keeping on hold the proposals from various departments seeking permission to purchase new vehicles. Most of the departments had sought permission to buy the new Innova high-end model vehicles, each costing Rs 22 lakh. The proposals were turned down as there is a ban on purchase of vehicles.
The ban was imposed long ago in view of the precarious financial condition of the state government. In fact, it had issued direction to the finance department not to entertain requests for new vehicles. Officials have been directed to hire vehicles to cut down cost on maintenance and fuel.
Earlier, the AP government released Rs 100 crore for purchase of vehicles by the police department. The AP government followed in the footsteps of Telangana government, which had replaced the old vehicles used by the police.