The Centre has put restrictions on the travel of governors saying they have to stay in their respective states for at least 292 days in a year and not leave station until or unless approved by the President.
The fresh diktat from the Narendra Modi government came after it was noticed that some of the governors used to stay outside their respective states for a considerable amount of time.
“No visits shall be undertaken without obtaining the prior permission of the President or in emergent or extraordinary circumstances, without prior intimation to the President’s Secretariat,” the new 18-point set of rules notified by Home Ministry said.
In case of last-minute travel plans, governors will have to explain the “compelling reasons” for the trip. The requests for permission to travel outside the state will have to be sent to Rashtrapati Bhavan anywhere between one week and six weeks before the date of travel, depending on whether the tour is official or private and the destination is in India or abroad.
Every request will also have to be marked to the Prime Minister’s Principal Secretary Nripendra Misra and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh.
To ensure any governor does not pass off private visits as official, the Raj Bhavans will have to send their detailed itinerary to the President for every official visit — domestic or foreign — and keep Rashtrapati Bhavan posted about any changes.
“The duration of such visits of the governor shall not exceed 20 per cent of the days in a calender year,” the notification said.
In case of foreign visits, the communication seeking approval of the President for undertaking such foreign visits shall be received in President’s Secretariat at least six weeks in advance.
“Governor shall invariably obtain clearance under Foreign Contribution Regulation Act and political clearance before undertaking the foreign visit,” it said.
The new rules were notified after several instances of governors abusing their privileges came to light, sources said.