Published On: Thu, Feb 19th, 2015

Cab Secy Ajit seth asks bureaucrats to ‘strictly’ follow austerity code

New Delhi: Seeking to contain expenditure, the Cabinet Secretary has asked top bureaucrats in all ministries to “strictly” follow the austerity code and refrain from holding conferences and meetings in five-star hotels.

Cabinet Secretary Ajit Seth

Cabinet Secretary Ajit Seth

They have been told that five-star hotels should be used only for important bilateral or multilateral official engagements.

In a recent communication to all secretaries, Cabinet Secretary Ajit Seth said they should ensure “strict compliance” of the instructions.

In October last year, the government had unveiled an austerity drive to trim fiscal deficit by banning first class air travel for bureaucrats, meetings in five-star hotels and purchase of cars. It also put a freeze on new appointments.

The measures that are aimed at cutting non-plan spending by 10% include a ban on filling of vacant posts to reduce fiscal deficit to 7-year low of 4.1% of GDP.

It had said that Secretaries would be responsible for ensuring compliance of austerity measures.

It had also said that only the seminars and conferences that are absolutely essential should be organised and holding of exhibitions/seminars/conferences abroad is strongly discouraged except in case of exhibitions for trade promotions.

The government proposes to lower the fiscal deficit to 3% of GDP by 2016-17. It had touched a high of 5.7% in 2011-12, was brought down to 4.8% in 2012-13 and further to 4.5% in 2013-14 by way of austerity measures.

PTI

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