Thirteen of 20 Karnataka lawmakers to whom the state government extended a car loan between 2008 and 2010 have not submitted the necessary loan documents to the government.
The Karnataka government provides an advance of Rs.500,000 to a lawmaker to buy a car at a simple interest rate of 7 percent per annum. To receive the loan, the lawmaker must first produce a bank statement showing that he or she is capable of repaying the loan. If the statement proves the lawmaker’s creditworthiness, he or she is granted the Rs.500,000.
Recipients of the loan are also required to submit details of the vehicle they purchased to prove that they actually used the money to buy a car. According to documents The SoftCopy obtained under the Right to Information Act, the members of the Legislative Council in question received the loan despite not producing bank statements for inspection.
If an MLC who has taken out the loan fails to submit the proof-of-vehicle purchase paperwork within two months of receiving the money, his or her salary is supposed to be withheld from the next payday, according to state government rules. However, no warnings have been given and no action has been taken in this regard.
Karnataka Legislative Council Secretary V. Shreesh refused to comment on the approval of such loans.
The MLCs that have not filed the paperwork for the car loan are Ashwathnarayana, P.V.Krishna Bhatta, Srikanth L. Gotnekar, Basavaraja Horatti, Mruthunjaya Jinaga, Basavaraj Hawgeppa Patil, Veerakumar Appaso Patil, Kota Srinivasa Poojary, B. Ramakrishna, Arun Shahapura, N. Shankrappa, Siddaraju and A.H.Shivayogi Swamy.
Lawmaker: I was busy
“I was busy all this while and will submit in a couple of weeks,” said MLC Basavaraj H. Patil. “However, whether I submit or not, the government will deduct [the monthly repayment amount] from my salary.”
Asked how he used the Rs.500,000 and which car he bought with the cash, Basavara said: “Why is the media concentrating on such small things? Why don’t you look for some corruption cases?”
Some of the 13 MLCs in question claimed they had submitted the document.
“Though I have not submitted the document personally, it was sent through my personal assistant. Maybe the council hasn’t recorded it yet,” said P.V Krishna Bhat. “I have bought a Maruti Wagon R out of that fund.”
Similar case with computer loans
Similarly, 41 percent of the members of the Legislative Council have not filed the requisite paperwork for computer loans, according to the documents received under the RTI request. The government issues advances of Rs.50,000 for purchase of a computer. Between 2008 and 2010, 31 members availed themselves of a computer loan, but 13 have not submitted the necessary paperwork.
“I have submitted all necessary documents,” lawmaker Dodda Rangegowda said. “If you need, I can submit the bills.”
The MLCs that have not filed the documents for the computer loan are Doddarangegowda, E. Krishnappa, K.R.Mallikarjunappa, S.G. Medappa, Allammaprabhu Patel, B. Ramakrishna, Arun Shahapura, N. Shankarappa, A.V.Gayathri Shantegowda, Bharathi Shetty, R.K.Siddaramanna, Siddaraju and Maane Srinivasa.