Panaji, April 17 (IANS) The Opposition on Friday lashed out at the cash-strapped Chief Minister Pramod Sawant-led government, after a recent official notification issued in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, hiked the ceiling for purchase of a new official car for the CM’s fleet to Rs 35 lakh from Rs 20 lakh.
The notification also increased ceiling for purchase of new cars for cabinet ministers, Speaker, Deputy Speaker, Leader of Oppositon to Rs 30 lakh.
“We want to warn the government that the people of Goa will react in a strong way, if any attempt is made to buy any lavish vehicles during these testing times and especially when state’s total liabilities have crossed Rs 24,000 crore,” state Congress president Girish Chodankar said on Friday.
“The Chief Minister should clarify whether the proposal to purchase lavish vehicle for him is approved by the State Expenditure Committee constituted by him recently. The Congress will be with the people of Goa and will not hesitate to support people to stop the movement of any lavish government vehicle on the roads of Goa,” Chodankar said.
President of the Goa Forward party and former Deputy Chief Minister Vijai Sardesai also described the move as a “criminal indulgence”.
Reacting to the attack from the Opposition, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said that the notification increasing the ceiling for purchase of an official car for him as well as other ministers and government officials was a routine one and that despite the issuance of the notification, the government was not contemplating purchasing a new fleet of vehicles.