COVID-19 effect: C'garh govt goes on austerity drive

Raipur, May 27 () With the lockdown adversely affecting the state's revenue collection, the Chhattisgarh government on Wednesday decided to take several austerity measures, including prohibiting foreign tours, not holding meetings in expensive hotels and not creating new posts, officials said.

The state's finance department has issued a directive, which will remain effective till March 31 next year, a public relations department official here said.

The measures have also been taken as there is an immediate need for arranging additional resources in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic, he said.

"The state government has taken several important decisions to cut its expenditures and ensure optimal utilisation of resources available for development-oriented works in the backdrop of fall in revenue collection due to the lockdown," the official said. Advertisement

"As a part of the measures, creating new vacancies, transfer of government staff, holding meetings in expensive hotels, foreign tours and purchase of new vehicles have been prohibited," he said.

To control the establishment expenses, the state government has banned creation of new posts in all the departments, public undertakings, municipal bodies with immediate effect.

Under special circumstances, new posts can be created after taking permission from the finance department, he said.

As per the directive, recruitment on all vacancies, except those done directly through the state Public Service Commission or appointment on compassionate grounds, can be done only after taking permission from the finance department.

For the posts that were earlier approved by finance department but recruitment on these still pending, the concerned department will have to again seek permission for filling those vacancies, he said. Besides, foreign tour on government expenditure has been completely banned. Advertisement

Government officials are not allowed to travel in business class in flights and the first class compartments in trains on government expenses.

Unnecessary official tours without approval from competent authority will remain prohibited, he said.

The departments have been directed to organise minimum meetings and to curtail the expenses on events such as conferences, seminars, government programmes. Advertisement

Urgent meetings-programmes should be organised in government buildings instead of expensive hotels.

As far as possible, meetings should be organised via video conferencing and webinar, he said.

The order further stated that the departments should only launch the extremely important schemes in the current fiscal and the operation of ongoing schemes should be reviewed separately. Advertisement

Departments have been directed to hold the schemes that are irrelevant in the current scenario, he said.

Similarly, in the fiscal year 2020-21, purchase of new vehicles has been completely banned. Only the vehicles required for essential services can be purchased after taking permission from the finance department, he said.

Annual salary increment payable to state government employees from July 1, 2020 and January 1, 2021 has been put on hold until further notice, he said. Advertisement

As per the transfer policy issued by the General Administration Department, transfer of officials and employees has been prohibited.

Keeping in view the additional expenses caused due to transfer of employees, departments are expected to keep the transfers to minimum possible and if urgently required, transfer on ones own expenses should be given preference, he said. TKP NP NP

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