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Uddhav Thackeray approves purchase of expensive new cars for ministers when Maharashtra is struggling to pay salaries to the govt employees

A special provision to bypass the ceiling limit of Rs 20 lakh per vehicle was sanctioned by Uddhav Thackeray and State's Finance department for the purchase of Innova Crysta worth Rs 22.86 lakhs

Even as Maharashtra faces an acute crisis from the raging coronavirus outbreak, the Maha Vikas Aghadi government in the state has given its authorisation for the purchase of 6 new vehicles for its ministers.

The approval from the Uddhav Thackeray government came at a time when the Maharashtra Treasury is in a bad shape in the wake of coronavirus induced lockdown in the state. The demand for government authorisation for the purchase of 5 new vehicles for office bearers and 1 for staff member came from the Maharashtra School Education and Sports Department.

Asserting that the School Education and the Sports Department needed vehicles for carrying out the governmental work, the Maharashtra state government authorised the purchase of the 6 vehicles, including 1 for the staff member.

Special provision made to bypass ceiling limit of Rs 20 lakh for vehicle purchase

The Maha Vikas Aghadi government gave its nod for the purchase of Innova Crysta 2.4 ZX (7 seaters) worth Rs 22,83,086 from Madhuban Motors Pvt. Ltd., Lower Parel, Mumbai. It is pertinent to note that while the ceiling limit for the purchase of a car has been Rs 20 lakh, a special provision, with the approval of the state government’s finance department and chief minister Uddhav Thackeray was passed to pursue the purchase of the vehicles.

Approval amidst raging coronavirus crisis in Maharashtra

Maharashtra holds the unenviable distinction of being the worst-hit state from the scourge of coronavirus. So far, about 1,92,990 of the total 6,48,000 cases in India have been registered from Maharashtra and the pandemic has shown no signs of abatement.

The decision to approve the purchase of new vehicles comes amidst galloping coronavirus outbreak and a day after Maharashtra Disaster Relief and Rehabilitation minister Vijay Wadettiwar claimed that the Maharashtra government will have to borrow money to pay for the salaries of its employees in August. Wadettiwar said that the state is facing a severe funds crunch and will need to resort to borrowing to pay the salaries of its staffers from next month.

However, despite the implausibility of a swift attenuation of the contagion and the liquidity crisis facing the state government, chief minister Uddhav Thackeray and the Finance Department, being fully cognisant of the economic situation in the state, passed a special and unnecessary provision to sanction the purchase of 6 new vehicles for the Maharashtra School Education and Sports Department.

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