… for the PM, NC Chair, Speaker, OL and ministers

Vehicles: The government has spent Nu 43.122 million (M) in procuring 14 Toyota Prados for Cabinet ministers and equivalent post holders.

Initially when the government took over, it was decided that that the government will not purchase any pool vehicle until the economy improves. This was one of the cost cutting measures put in place.

Arrangements were made to pool already existing vehicles in the respective ministries and allot appropriate type of vehicles to the Cabinet ministers.

The Prime Minister continued to use his old duty vehicle (a Prado) that he used during his tenure as the Opposition Leader.

In a written response to MP Choida Jamtsho’s question to the finance minister, it was stated that the vehicles allotted to the ministers and other equivalent post holders were old.

Because of the concerns related to safety while travelling around the country, it was stated that new vehicles for the Prime Minister, Cabinet ministers, Speaker, Opposition Leader and Chairperson of the National Council (NC) have been purchased.

“The government received repeated requests to provide appropriate vehicles for the Speaker, leader of the opposition and the chairperson of NC,” it states.

However, to minimise the cost, the response mentioned that the Prime Minister was provided with Toyota Prado VX, although he was entitled for a Toyota Land Cruiser. Cabinet ministers and equivalent post holders were provided with Toyota Prado TX.

In April this year, the Prime Minister during the mid-term review in Samtse announced that new vehicles have been purchased for some of the ministers. Lyonchoen had said then that the economy has improved.

In May last year, duty vehicles for the ministers of agriculture, home and cultural affairs, works and human settlement, and the information and communications ministries were purchased. Each of these Prados were priced at Nu 2.993M.

Prior to that, the government has already purchased similar model Prados for the Speaker and NC Chair.

The Prime Minister’s duty vehicle is priced at Nu 3.196M and is funded by the European Union.

The duty vehicles for the rest of the Cabinet ministers purchased later are priced at Nu 3.204M each.

Sources said that the price of vehicles imported from third countries are dependent on the foreign exchanges rate.

Except for the Prime Minister’s vehicle, all pool vehicles for ministers and equivalent post holders were from the government coffer.

however, no tax is levied on the purchase made by the government, except for the green tax.

The government at one point of time contemplated doing away with government pool vehicles but three months ago it was announced that each gewog would be getting a utility vehicle each.

Should the government decide to go for Boleros, each vehicle would cost Nu 630,000 totalling Nu 129M. The cost may differ if Tata utility vehicles are opted for. But the budget has already been allocated and a tender will be floated.