Manipur govt announces austerity measures as pandemic hits state economy
Close on the heels of banning recruitment processes because of the adverse impact of Covid-19, Manipur government announced a cut on non-essential expenditure to ensure that scarce resources are made available for meeting unavoidable and committed expenditures of the state, official sources said.
The state finance department issued an Office Memorandum in this regard on Thursday, stating that economic dislocation inflicted by the pandemic has seriously impacted the resource availability of the state government.
As austerity measures, the government has decided to cut down as many as fourteen categories of non-essential expenditure, including excess authorisation over budget provision, commitments on expenditure, ban on recruitment, ban on creation of new entities, ban on printing of diaries, coffee table book, purchase of office furniture/equipment and luxury items, among others, with immediate effect.
“On the other hand, the amount to be incurred on meeting recurring expenditure is likely to see an increase during the current fiscal due to certain commitments made by the government, including unavoidable expenditures on Covid-19 related activities,” the memorandum signed by chief secretary Dr Rajesh kumar said.
Directing that no financial commitments shall be made by any department on items for which expenditure sanction has not been obtained, the memorandum asked all major tax and non-tax revenue collecting departments to take urgent necessary measures to meet their targets for the current fiscal year, 2020-21.
Reiterating that all on-going recruitment processes should be put on hold except those already started with the approval of the cabinet, it has also banned the creation of new entities directing that no new entities, either functional or territorial, involving expenditure out of the consolidated fund of the state will be created.
It said that utmost economy shall be observed in organising conferences/seminars/workshops/exhibitions/fairs among others and only essential events should be held.
“Holding of or participating in exhibitions/seminars/workshops abroad at the cost of the state government is prohibited,” it added.
“There will be a ban on holding meetings and conferences at hotels except for those which are of vital importance to the state.”
It further directed to conduct meetings through video conferencing as much as possible and also asked to ban the purchase of new vehicles with immediate effect.
“There will be a complete ban printing of diaries, greeting cards, coffee table books and calendars in physical forms by administrative departments except those published by DIPR,” it added.