Fly economy class, no meals at five-star hotels: UP government rolls out austerity drive

In an 18-point order, the officials have been asked to curtail expenses.

Fly economy class, no meals at five-star hotels: UP government rolls out austerity drive

Lucknow: The Uttar Pradesh government has rolled out a series of strict austerity measures for its employees. As per the new directions, the officials have been asked to curtail expenses on foreign visits, fly economy class and avoid holding lunch or dinner meetings at five-star hotels.

The order also states that officials should cut down expenses on office stationery, furniture and upholstery. It said just because an official concerned has been replaced, it did not mean there should be new furniture or upholstery for the new official.

An 18-point order to this effect was issued by UP Chief Secretary Anup Chandra Pandey, a senior official said Wednesday. As per the order, official visits should be kept to a minimum unless these are important and essential. It also states that babus should travel economy class if they have to take flights for official visits.

It has barred official lunches and dinners in five-star hotels although if they have to be undertaken in exceptional cases, a permission will be needed from the chief secretary.

The five-page order said it was important to cut down administrative expenses to make optimum use of government funds and resources for development work.

It noted that during the last decade, work culture has changed considerably in view of computerisation and even work load has come down in certain sectors. Many posts have become redundant and employees on those posts were being utilised in other areas in the best possible manner, it said.

The order also said that in case of vacancies in class four and similar posts of driver, gardener, plumber, electrician and liftman, there should be no regular appointment. These tasks should be outsourced with approval of the finance department.

The order stated that no posts should be created to assist those holding temporary posts of advisor or chairman of any department. The posts may be outsourced.

Various schemes run by the government should be reviewed at regular intervals and those found no longer useful, should be scrapped.

Besides, travelling allowance, dearness allowance, house rent allowance, city compensatory allowance, leave travel allowance and medical reimbursement should be paid to the staff of central or state government funded projects at sanctioned rates only.

The order said no new office building or residential complex should be constructed except in newly created divisions or districts.

It said barring security-related requirements, no new vehicle should be purchased and in case existing vehicles were unfit for use, they could be hired. Hiring of taxis for administrative work should be done with the permission of the finance department alone and only registered taxis should be hired and not private vehicles.

For holding meetings, seminars and workshops, government buildings and premises should be chosen as venue and not private hotels.

There should be maximum use of technology for communication through e-mails, video conferencing to cut down bills on stationery and journeys, the order said.

It also said no new gadgets should be purchased on an emergency basis in the month of February or March. Besides, there will be immediate ban on printing cards and sending New Year greetings, calendars, diaries, etc. At government expense. This will apply to autonomous bodies and authorities as well. The order will be applicable to all government departments, offices, PSUs, state universities.