The Narendra Modi government has decided to do away with red beacons used by VVIPs on official cars. The decision was taken at the Cabinet meeting held on Wednesday. The President, Vice President, Prime Minister, Chief Justice of India and Lok Sabha Speaker have been exempted from the order. The ban will be implemented from May 1, 2017.

“In a historic decision, the Cabinet has decided that beacon lights will be removed from all vehicles, barring emergency services vehicles, from May 1,” Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari said. He is the first minister to remove the beacon from his official vehicle.

The decision comes days after the Punjab cabinet said that that the Chief Minister, legislators and top officials will not use a red beacon on their official vehicles. Though the Punjab Congress in its election manifesto had exempted the Chief Minister and his council of ministers from the proposed ban on red beacons, Capt Amarinder Singh voluntarily decided to give up the beacons.

Amendments to Central Motor Vehicles Act 1989 will come into effect from May 1. Union Finance minister Arun Jaitley said blue light with flasher will be allowed only in defined emergency services such as police, ambulance and fire brigade. “No dignitary, state or central, will use red light. There will be no exceptions,” he said.

Claiming that the decision is a democratic one, he said that the notification in connection with the decision will be issued soon. The move is being seen as the Narendra Modi government’s crackdown on the VIP culture.