On 4th September 2020, the Rajasthan government announced several austerity measures in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic hitting the finances of the state. The measures include curbs on purchase of new vehicles and equipment, travel restrictions, and ban on state banquets, setting up of new offices and exhibitions and seminars. The finance department, GoR has issued a circular in this regard.
Important Austerity Measures:
- Departments have been asked to limit the expenditure to 70 per cent of the amount sanctioned. These include office expenses, travel expenses, computer maintenance, stationery, printing and writing, publications, library and magazines.
- Expenditure against the approved provision under fuels will also be limited to 90 per cent.
- Travelling for government functions will be kept to a minimum.
- Purchase of new vehicles have also been prohibited.
- Meetings will have to be conducted through video conferencing as much as possible.
- Officers who are entitled air travel will use economy class. There will also be a complete ban on airfare for travelling abroad on state expenditure.
- All kinds of machinery, equipment, tools, plant and other new items will not be procured except for necessary materials and equipment for prevention, treatment and assistance of victims of Covid-19.
- No new office will be allowed to open in the financial year 2020-21 with 100% state funds. Instructions have been issued to departments to take necessary action by identifying posts which have become irrelevant at present due to changes in departmental functioning and due to application of information technology.
- State banquet and gifts and hospitality expenses will be banned till further orders.
- All state programmes, bhoomi poojan and inauguration ceremonies will be conducted observing simplicity and austerity and through video conferencing if possible.
- New sanctions for cash payment in lieu of accrued holiday payable to state officials and employees will be postponed in this financial year.
- In the current financial year, all types of training, seminars, workshops, festivals and exhibitions will be organised online as much as possible. In the most urgent circumstances, they could be organised only in state institutions, government buildings or state premises. Along with training, tours and conference expenses, instructions have also been issued in the circular to reduce at least 50 per cent of the amount available in the budget head for festivals and exhibitions.
- The guidelines will be applicable to all state undertakings, companies, boards, universities, aided institutions, bodies and all the organisations financially dependent on the state government, wholly or partially.
Earlier, the state has cabinet had also decided to deduct two day’s remuneration of officers belonging to all-India and state services and one-day’s salary of other employees from September to mobilise resources for Covid relief fund. The cabinet also decided to deduct one week’s gross salary of chief minister and ministers. While the MLAs will donate one day’s net salary, the employees of other departments, excluding high court and subordinate court, medical and health, medical education, and police constable from level I to IV, will also donate one-day’s salary to the relief fund.
- Rajasthan State Government Austerity Measures – Circular