NRI Dunia
Think Outside The Box

Govt comes out with new measures to rationalise non-priority expenditure

The government on Friday asked all ministries /departments to review appointments of consultants, curtail functions and ban use of imported paper for printing as part of measures to rationalize non-priority expenditure.

The finance ministry has issued the instructions on expenditure management with a view to improving the quality of public expenditure, containing non-developmental spending and ensuring the availability of adequate resources for critical priority schemes, the Department of Expenditure said.

“In the context of the present fiscal situation and the consequent pressure on Government resources, there is a need for further economy and rationalization of non-priority expenditure, while protecting and preserving priority expenditure,” the department said in an office memorandum.

With regard to administrative expenditure, the Department of Expenditure, under the finance ministry, said no printing or publishing of books, publications, documents will be done on imported paper, except where printing is done abroad by Indian missions.

“Expenditures on functions such as celebrations of Foundation Day etc, should be discouraged or if felt necessary be appropriately curtailed. In any case, travel for such functions and provision of bags or mementos should be avoided,” the ministry said.

It asked all the ministries /departments to carry out a review of the individual consultants appointed by them in consonance with the provisions of General Financial Rules (GFR) and reduce the number of consultants to the minimum requirement.

“Due economy may be observed while determining the fees of the consultants and care may be taken that such fees are not disproportionate to the quality and quantity of work to be carried out by the consultants,” it added.

With regard to new positions, it said there will be a ban on the creation of new posts, except with the approval of the expenditure department.

“If any post has been created after July 1, 2020, under delegated powers or authority, without the approval of the Expenditure Department and have not yet been filled, then shall post shall not be filled. If it is deemed absolutely essential to fill them, proposals may be sent for approval of the Department of Expenditure,” it added.

Earlier this week, the finance ministry had asked ministries/departments/ PSUs and public sector banks not to print calendars, diaries, greeting cards and schedulers in physical format henceforth.

It also banned the printing of coffee-table books and instead encouraged use of e-books.