Curtail foreign trips, events at 5-star hotels: UP govt issues 18-point austerity measures for its officialshttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/up-government-austerity-measures-curtail-foreign-trips-events-hotels-officials-5365446/

Curtail foreign trips, events at 5-star hotels: UP govt issues 18-point austerity measures for its officials

The order directs officials to slash expenses on office stationery, including printing of cards, personal letters, diaries.

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The order directs officials to review and scrap posts and departments that were redundant.

The Uttar Pradesh government has announced a slew of austerity measures asking its officials to curtail foreign trips, fly economy class for official visits and avoid organising programmes at five-star hotels among others. Maintaining that “thrift in administrative expenses has become necessary for the purpose of maximum use of state resources in the development works”, UP Chief Secretary Anoop Chandra Pandey on Tuesday issued the 18-point special guidelines for 2018-19 fiscal.

The order directs officials to slash expenses on office stationery, including printing of cards, personal letters, diaries and calendars.

Maintaining that computerisation had brought about a change in the working pattern in many departments, decreasing workload in some, the order directs officials to review and scrap posts and departments that were redundant. It says, employees on those posts should be adjusted in other departments on a priority basis. The order also advises officials against creating new posts of assistant staff for temporary positions like advisors, chairmen and members in different departments, and instead make arrangements from the surplus staff or through outsourcing.

It clearly mentions that no new posts should be sanctioned except in medical and police departments. In case of vacancies in class VI and similar posts of driver, gardener, plumber, electrician and lift operators, there should be no regular appointment, the order says. It says that these tasks should be outsourced with approval of the finance department.

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It also says that schemes should be reviewed regularly and should be considered for closing. Departments have been asked to strictly follow financial rules for travel, including foreign trips, as well as for publications, hiring special and commercial service, advertisement and publicity, purchasing furniture among others. Except in urgent circumstances, officials have been instructed to fly in economy class, departments and public units have been directed not open new guesthouses, and except in newly-formed districts no new offices or residential complexes should be constructed.

The order also says that except for security-related concerns, new vehicles should not be purchased. Then no personal vehicle should be hired on contract basis and only taxis should be hired, it says. Thrift has also been advised in conducting seminars and workshops. Instead of private hotels, such events should be organised in government buildings and premises, it says. It advises that state lunch or dinners should not be held in five-star hotels. In special circumstances, they should be done only on the prior permission of the Chief Secretary.

Departments have been asked to make maximum use of video-conferencing and e-mails to control expenses.