The reimbursement of hospitality expenses in the government has been suspended with immediate effect.
This is as per a circular of the Office of the Chief Controller of Accounts in the Finance Ministry.
In an office memorandum, titled “Suspension of Hospitality Expenses”, the Chief Controller of Accounts said: “The orders relating to reimbursement of hospitality expenses are hereby suspended with immediate effect till further orders.”
The suspension of hospitality expenses may be the result of a view to tighten the government’s purse strings. With revenue collections down due to disrupted economic activity and a GDP squeeze, the government would look for ways to cut expenses. Alternatively, it could be that a new dispensation for these expenses is being put in place.
After the acceptance of the recommendations of the 7th Central Pay Commission (CPC) by the government, the Sumptuary Allowance and Entertainment Allowance had been abolished with effect from June 2017. It was resolved that such expenditure on hospitality should be treated as office expenditure and the Ministry of Finance was to lay down the ceilings for various levels. Accordingly, the hospitality related expenditure is now to be incurred as office expenditure. Ceilings had been fixed for various ranks of central government employees and judges of the High Court and Supreme Court. i