No red beacons on VIP vehicles from May 1: Jaitley
New Delhi, April 19 (IANS) In an effort to do away with VIP culture in India, the government on Wednesday announced official vehicles of dignitaries across the country -- including the President, the Prime Minister and Union ministers -- would not flaunt red beacons from May 1.
"From May 1, no red beacon will be allowed atop any official vehicle. There will be no exceptions," Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told reporters here.
Vehicles involved in emergency and relief and rescue services, ambulances, and fire services, will, however, be allowed to put blue beacons, the minister said.
A decision to this effect was taken at a Union Cabinet meeting presided over by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday.
Jaitley said the government will bring about the necessary amendment to the Central Motor Vehicle Rules, 1989, in this regard.
"Rule 108 deals with use of red, white and blue lights on vehicles. Rule 108-1 (III) says the Centre and states can specify dignitaries who can use beacons on their (official) vehicles. It is a central rule and is being abolished from the rule book," Jaitley said.
He said it means no dignitary at the Centre or in states could henceforth use beacons on their vehicles.
The minister said a rule that empowers the Centre and state governments to use blue beacons with flasher is also being changed.
"Only defined emergency services will be allowed to use blue beacons with flasher," Jaitley said.
The decision also intends to strengthen democratic values in the country, he said.