Chhattisgarh Government’s major decisions to cut back on government expenditures

Raipur: Nation-wide lockdown for prevention of COVID-19 infection has adversely affected the revenue collection of state government. Besides, immediate arrangement of additional resources is also required for prevention of this pandemic. Keeping this in view, Chhattisgarh Government has taken several important decisions to cut back on government expenditures and to ensure optimal utilization of resources available for development-oriented works. As per the decisions, creating new posts, transfer, organizing meetings in expensive hotels, foriegn tours and purchase of new vehicles has been prohibited and instructions have been given to take economic measures for recruitment on vacancies, promotion, annual salary increment.

As per the instructions issued by State Government’s Finance Department in the context, recruitment on any and all vacancies, except vacancies of direct recruitment and appointment on compassionate grounds, can be done only after taking permission from Finance Department. For Posts that were earlier approved by Finance Department but recruitment on these posts was pending, concerned department will have to take permission again before recruiting on these posts. Proposals to the Finance Department in the context should include the information about annual financial burden after recruitment and the need for recruitment on given posts.

Finance Department has directed all the departments to follow standard procedure for regular promotion, but transfer due to promotion should be avoided by providing temporary upgrade on the same post in the same place. Payment of arrears as a result of promotion-upgradation will remain pending till the next orders of Finance Department. To control the establishment expenses of departments, State Government has banned creating of new posts in all the government departments, public undertakings, municipal bodies with immediate effect. Under special circumstances, new posts can be created after taking permission from Finance Department.

As per the transfer policy issued by General Administration Department, transfer of officials and employees has been prohibited. Keeping in view the additional expenses caused due to transfer of employees, Departments are expected to keep the transfers to minimum possible and if urgently required, transfer on one’s own expenses should be given preference. Besides the desired exception in public interest, expenditure on foiegn tours will remain completely banned. Government officials are not allowed to travel in business class of flights and first class compartments of trains under government expenses. Unnecessary official tours without approval from competent authority will remain prohibited.

Departments have been directed to organize minimum possible meetings and to curtail the expenses on events such as conferences, seminars, government progrannes. Urgent meetings-programmes should be organized in government buildings instead of expensive hotels. As far as possible, meetings should be organized via video conferencing and webinar. It is stated in the order that departments should commence the extremely important schemes in the current fiscal year itself and the existing should be reviewed separately. Departments have been directed to end the schemes that are irrelevant in the current scenario. In the fiscal year 2020-21, purchase of new vehicles is completely banned. Only the vehicles required for essential services can be purchased after taking permission from Finance Department.

Annual salary increment payable to state government employees from July 1, 2020 and January 1, 2020 has been postponed until further notice. However, this order will not be applicable on government employees retiring before January 1, 2021 and July 1, 2021.