The Telangana government has purchased 32 KIA Carnival cars for IAS officers amid the ongoing COVID pandemic. All additional collectors in Telangana got high-end SUVs, courtesy of Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao.
Each car is estimated to cost about ₹25-30 lakh. The purchase has raised eyebrows as it comes at a time when the state is reeling under huge debt and is in the middle of a pandemic.
Meanwhile, the move has drawn the ire of Opposition parties. BJP spokesperson Krishna Sagar Rao said the CM was splurging the taxpayers' money on the purchase of these ultra-luxury cars.
He appealed to the Chief Minister to roll back the decision and said his focus should be on governing the state rather than appeasing bureaucrats. He pointed out that the state's Finance Minister T Harish Rao recently said that the state wanted increased FRBM (Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management) limits to raise more loans.
Congress also strongly criticised the move. "KCR has pushed the surplus state of Telangana into a debt trap with a whopping debt of ₹ 4,000 crore," alleged Congress spokesperson Sravan Dasoju.
"On top of that, when the state is in a serious financial crisis due to Covid, KCR has the audacity to buy 30 Kia luxury cars with a cost of ₹ 30 lakh as gifts to his additional collectors. They already have government cars in good condition, why buy new cars in this crisis," Dasoju said as reported by ANI.
The state has been facing a financial crisis. Last year after the pandemic situation, the state government announced salary cuts to its employees and pensioners.