In order to make more funds available for the battle against Covid-19 in India, President Ram Nath Kovind will forego 30 per cent of his salary for a year. “As a part of steps to make more resources available for Covid-19 relief measures, the President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, after contributing one month’s salary to the PM-CARES Fund in March, has decided to forego 30 per cent of his salary for a year,” the Rashtrapati Bhavan said in a press statement Wednesday.
According to the statement, the President has decided to defer purchase of the Presidential Limousine which was to be used for ceremonial occasions. The existing resources of the Rashtrapati Bhavan and the Government will be shared and used for such occasions.
Alongside, the Rashtrapati Bhavan also listed out a number of measures to cut down its expenses, in line with the President’s instructions to set an example y economising its expenditure.
“The President has given instructions to the Rashtrapati Bhavan to set an example by economising the expenditure, making optimal usage of resources, and dovetailing the saved money to combat Covid-19 and mitigate the people’s economic plight,” the release said, adding that in the President’s estimation, this would be a small yet significant contribution to realise the government’s vision of making India ‘atmanirbhar‘ and inspire the nation to take up the challenge to fight the pandemic and continue the journey towards development and prosperity simultaneously.
The measures that Rashtrapati Bhavan would take to cut down its expenditure are as follows:
1. No new capital works will be taken up in FY 2020-21. Only the ongoing works will be completed.
2. Repair and maintenance work will be minimised to only ensure proper upkeep of assets.
3. There will be substantial reduction in the use of office consumables. For instance, the Rashtrapati Bhavan will use e-technology to cut down the use of paper to avoid wastage and make the office eco-friendly. Efforts will be made to save energy and fuel by rationalising their usage.
4. The domestic tours and programmes will be substantially reduced in order to follow the social distancing restrictions and minimise the expenditure that such exercises entail. Instead, President Kovind will largely rely on technology to reach out to people.
5. Consumption during ceremonial occasions such as At-Home ceremonies and state banquets will be minimised by taking measures like:
# Keeping smaller guest lists to maintain social distance
# Lesser usage of flowers and other items for decoration on such occasions, and
# Reducing the food menu to the extent possible.
Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu had announced last month that he will forego 30 per cent of his salary till normalcy is restored. The Rajya Sabha secretariat has identified ways to save about Rs 60 crore for this financial year through various measures.
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