Syed Junaid Hashmi
JAMMU, Nov 28: Having seemingly fallen in love with Bullet motorcycle, Finance Secretary Naveen Choudhary wanted Jammu and Kashmir State Motor Garages Department to buy one for him.
Informed sources told The Straight Line that Naveen had requested Director State Motor Garages Zakir Choudhary to purchase bullet motorcycle and an Innova Car for him. He had assured the garages department that he would make the requisite allocation in the budget, said the sources. They added that Garages repeatedly told the finance secretary that they have no provision either for purchasing bullet motorcycle or the Innova car since the same requires the approval of the planning department.
Sources said that the office of Secretary Finance kept pressurising the then Chief Accounts Officer (CAO) of the Garages Department to create some provision for the purchase of the vehicles being demanded by Secretary Finance. “He stated the rule position which clearly said that vehicles which are to be purchased must be approved by the purchase committee. You have to show to the audit under which head Bullet Motorcycle was bought,” said an official source.
On being asked, ex-Director Garages G.A.Sofi said that he has no knowledge of Finance Secretary Naveen Choudhary demanding a Bullet Motorcycle. “No such request was made during my tenure as Director Garages. I left three years ago. And I have no knowledge about what happened after I left the department,” Sofi told The Straight Line.
Director Garages Zakir Choudhary said “This is nothing but a wild rumour. I have no allocation for purchase of new vehicles for the financial year 2018-19.” He further said that the Finance Secretary does not decide which vehicles are to be purchased. “It is the purchase committee headed by Director State Motor Garages which decides which vehicles are to be purchased. Finance Secretary has no role in the purchase of vehicles,” said Choudhary.
Secretary Finance Naveen Choudhary could not be contacted for his response.