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Home > News > Report

Karnataka: Old car dealers are raking it in

Vicky Nanjappa in Bangalore | November 27, 2007 15:51 IST

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Political Crisis in Karnataka

A political crisis is viewed as disastrous in terms of development of the state. Investors are scared to invest, projects hang in balance thus giving the people an additional headache. However if there is someone who is happy is the old car dealer.

Thanks to unstable governments and new netas occupying the chair every now and then due to political instability, 125 official cars have been auctioned off.

The reason -- new ministers refuse to use the cars used by their predecessors for superstitious reasons.

However, it is not as though their new car is the same variant used by the predecessor.

Life nalli change beku guru (We need change in life boss) is what some of the netas have to say. Thanks to this the people of Karnataka has seen its ministers right from the days of the Ambassador to the Toyota Corrola today.

After the Janata Dal-Secular government headed by H D Kumaraswamy fell, the new team of ministers who would have taken over had B S Yeddyurappa not stepped down felt the need to have new cars. Barely three days after the Bharatiya Janata Party chief minister took oath, at least 45 cars were auctioned off.

This is where the old car dealer steps in and makes a killing. Ford Ikon, model 2001 auctioned at Rs 1.25 lakh and later sold to the common man at Rs 2.25 lakh. Contessa picked up at Rs 20,000 and sold at Rs 50,000. Ambassadors at Rs 15,000 to Rs 20,000 and sold off at Rs 40,000.

The Department of Administrative Reforms and Personnel, which is in charge of this, says that with every new government the cars need to be changed. There is no way in which the ministers will use old cars. Moreover they insist on better variants rather than the one used by their predecessor.

Each time the government changes, the state coughs up at least Rs 10 crore on new cars, sources said.

Apart from this, these cars are sold at a loss after the government falls, sources in DPAR also said.

The government rules state that cars can only be sold in an auction. Worse, the cars which are used by the ministers cannot be allotted to other departments as the officials are not entitled for these higher end cars.

Sad but true, the government actually saves on Rs 3.5 crore every month when a government is not at its seat. The maintainence of the cars used by all the ministers comes up to a whooping Rs 3.5 crore a month.