While neigbouring Haryana is busy shopping for luxury cars, Punjab government on Wednesday announced new austerity measures to arrest its rising expenditure. The state government has asked its departments not to buy new vehicles and has reduced the fuel consumption limit for officials by 10% this fiscal.
A circular issued by Punjab finance minister Parminder Singh Dhindsa has also directed officials concerned to reduce the expenditure on vehicle repair, electricity and telephone bills by 10%. The written instructions have been distributed to all departments.
The minister has also asked officials not to compromise on the quality of work, in spite of the austerity measures. Dhindsa said all the departments had been directed to immediately surrender the budget sanctioned for the purchase of new vehicles.
He said no proposal would be submitted before the administrative department for the purchase of new vehicles. Dhindsa said the consumption limit for petrol vehicles had been decreased from 290 to 261 litres per month, while for diesel, the consumption limit brought down to 261 litres per month from 440 litres.
He said divisional commissioners and deputy commissioners were now entitled to consume 414 litres of petrol or diesel, instead of 460 litres per month. Sub-divisional magistrates and tehsildar, too, face cut. They will now be allowed to use only 339 litres of fuel per month.
Dhindsa said officers of the enforcement wing of the transport department — such as secretary, RTA, DTO, officers of flying squad at headquarters, Excise and Taxation Commissioners, Assistant Commissioners (District In-charge), Enforcement Officers (not below rank of ETO), would now be entitled for 376 litres petrol per month instead of earlier limit of 418 litres.