Chandigarh: Punjab may be saddled with a debt of thousands of crores of rupees but that did not stop the state authorities from splurging Rs 97 crore to buy luxury vehicles for its political top brass over a period of eight years, an RTI application has revealed.
The vehicles were purchased between 2007 and 2015 by the transport department for the use of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, his son and Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal and other ministers, as per the Right to Information (RTI) reply given to activist Jasdeepak Singh.
"The transport department spent more than Rs 97 crore on government vehicles provided to the Chief Minister, Deputy Chief minister and the entire cabinet from 2007 onwards till 2015. This is gross misuse of public funds for their personal use," Leader of Opposition in Punjab Assembly Charanjit Singh Channi said here on Friday.
Channi said as per the latest information, the expenditure on vehicles had now crossed the Rs 100 crore-mark.
"While the state is going through financial crisis, the Badals are enjoying the best of luxuries, which are procured from public funds," Channi said.
The transport department spent the highest Rs 17,77,92,929 in 2012-2013 on these vehicles and Rs 8,38,28,895 in 2008-09. The expenditure incurred during 2014-15 was Rs 13,13,90,655, Channi said.