Maharashtra government officials wanting to go on foreign trips will now have to go through a more stringent clearance process. The trips will have to be passed at three levels, including a special committee headed by the chief secretary, the chief minister and finally from relevant ministries in New Delhi, before they can set foot on foreign soil.
According to a government resolution (GR) issued by the general administration department on December 29, the government has put a cap on the trips to three in a year, and also restricted their duration to 15 days each.
If government officials are found violating the rules, administrative action will be taken against them, the GR adds.
“Many of the trips that are organised turn out to be unproductive and derail work, which does not benefit the state government. The officials will need to explain how the trip will benefit the state government,” a senior government official from the GAD department said.
The resolution calls for officials to fill in a form explaining the format of the tour, the purpose, the organisation or country being visited, the places where they will stay, people they will meet and official meetings slated during the trip.
No state government official can cite a reason that will be beneficial to the Union government, and secretaries and ministers cannot be on leave at the same time.
Officials are also not allowed to take any personal favours or go on these trips based on a personal invite.
“The application will need to go to the departments’ secretary, then to the special committee formed under the chief secretary,” the official said.
“After getting their nod, it will go to the chief minister for approval. Simultaneously, the application will need to be cleared by Union government’s external affairs ministry, home departments and the other relevant departments,” he added.
The officials are expected to give an elaborate report on the tour within weeks of coming back.