Govt undertakes cost cutting measures in ministries, departments

Moving ahead with its cost-cutting measures amid a slowing economy and falling revenues, the Department of Expenditure has banned creation of new posts in all Central ministries, departments and statutory bodies.

In an office memorandum on Friday, the department, which comes under the Ministry of Finance, said that the ban will cover all creation of posts under powers delegated to any organisation, regardless of the source of such authority or power.

“There will be a ban on creation of new posts, except with the approval of the Department of Expenditure, in Ministries/Departments, Attached Offices, Subordinate Offices, Statutory Bodies and Autonomous Bodies,” it said.

The order further said that if any posts have been created after July 1 under delegated power or authority, without approval of the Department of Expenditure and have not yet been filled, then such posts shall not be filled.

“If it is deemed absolutely essential to fill them, proposals may be sent for approval of the Department of Expenditure,” it said.

The Secretaries of the ministries and departments would be charged with the responsibility of ensuring compliance of the directive.

Among other measures, the department has suggested all ministries and departments to desist from spending on celebrations, including Foundation Day. Further, travel for any such celebration should also be avoided, the department has said.

Ministries and departments have also been advised to reduce the number of consultants to the minimum requirement.

“Due economy may be observed while determining the fees of the consultants and care may be taken that such fees are not disproportionate to the quality and quantity of work to be carried out by the consultants,” said the memorandum.

Recently, the Centre has also directed all ministries and departments to halt the printing of calendars, diaries, schedulers and other printed materials and asked them to publish them online in digital format.

All these directives to curb unwarranted expenditure come into effect immediately. The move comes at a time when the economy is going through an unprecedented slowdown and on Monday the country reported a 23.9 per cent contraction in its GDP for the April-June quarter.