A ban on the purchase of new vehicles and air conditioners in the remaining period of the current financial year is among austerity measures announced by the Congress government in Madhya Pradesh.
Barring the revenue department, all other departments, boards and corporations have been asked by the finance department not to print diaries and calendars for the New Year. An expenditure limit has been set for repairs and maintenance or purchase of other material for various government departments.
According to the order issued by the finance department on Saturday, departments have been told that they will be able to spend the amount which is lesser, between the one sanctioned in current year and the actual amount spent in the previous year. Office furniture, hospitality expenses, consultancy services, honorarium for special services, transport and security are among the heads for which the curbs will be in force.
The limit will not be applicable to projects running on foreign aid and central aid, essential medicines, ashram schools, hospitals, jails, anganwadis and veterinary departments.
In keeping with promises made in its Vachan Patra (manifesto), the new government has also announced the merger of several existing departments to create a new spirituality department, arguing that their works overlapped, which include the happiness department, the department of religious trusts and endowments, pilgrimage and fair authority and directorate of mukhya mantri teertha-darshan yojana.
A government communiqué said that the objective of the spiritual department will be to strengthen communal harmony. Similar departments are already functional in counties like the US, UK and Argentina with different names.