Wednesday, November 30, 2011

New norms prevent Chinese bureaucrats to use luxury office sedans

CHINESE government officials will no longer be able to use a Volkswagen Passat or a Toyota Camry as new rules require bureaucrats to buy vehicles with engines smaller than 1.8 liters. There has been public anger in China against government officials’ purchase of luxury cars that include Audi A6 or Mercedes-Benz E-Class, which are often used for private purpose too, according to reports appeared in western media.
The new rules issued jointly by the Communist Party and state agencies, come “amid rising public anger over corruption”, a Wall Street Journal report said. Also, rising fuel consumption has increasingly become an issue in China’s public debates.
Whereas India closely follows the Chinese models in most areas, whether it’s building roads or Special Economic Zones, the nation has never emulated China at least in purchasing cars for civil servants. Most Indian bureaucrats still use made-in-India white ambassadors, and only a select few like cabinet secretary get cars like Maruti SX4 which again is a below 1.8 liter-engine car.
According to new Chinese norms, the maximum amount that a mid-level government official can spend to buy his official car is 180,000 yuan (about $28,200, or Rs 14 lakh), a 10 percent reduction from earlier limit. In Indian context, however, the new Chinese limit is still very high.
China has also decided to buy new-energy vehicles like electric cars and plug-in electric hybrid cars for their babus provided those cars meet purchase rules.
Meanwhile, Chinese government has designated two dozen cities as model cities for new-energy cars so as to promote Chinese-produced green cars like e6 all-electric car and a plug-in hybrid version of the BYD F3. But there has been a short-supply of those green vehicles.
It’s time an Indian joint secretary should give his Chinese counter-part a joy ride in his old ambassador.

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