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MEA goes tough on foreign trips

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has expressed concern on the considerable increase in the protocol demands made on the Indian Missions and Posts abroad due to private and transit visit by Indian politicians and officials.

india Updated: Jun 05, 2006 02:47 IST

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has expressed concern on the considerable increase in the protocol demands made on the Indian Missions and Posts abroad due to private and transit visit by Indian politicians and officials. This, the MEA said, adversely impact the functioning of the Missions and the Posts.

In an office memorandum-cum-direction issued in mid May to all the state governments, central government secretaries, Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha secretariats and Registrars of Supreme Court and High Courts, the MEA said that the Indian Missions and Posts abroad have limited staff, transport and other resources and they cannot meet the demands of all visiting dignitaries, delegations and officials.

The MEA has made it clear that all ministries, departments or organisations have to fax sanction issued for the visits to the Mission concerned in advance. The visiting politicians and officials are not expected to incur expenditure on items not covered in the sanction as subsequent audit scrutiny puts all such expenditure in the category of unauthorised expenditure.

Moreover, for the private visits or non-official delegation, the Missions and Posts from now onwards would not incur any expenditure on airport reception, transport arrangements, medical, security arrangements etc.

At the busy stations in Europe, North America, Gulf, Africa, Southeast Asia and the Pacific, the visiting dignitaries, delegations and officials will be received by a protocol officer of the Mission. The Heads of Mission will meet only the Union Ministers and chief ministers on official bilateral visits to the country.

The MEA has said that its Missions abroad cannot interfere with the security checks at the foreign airports, particularly during the private visits. Moreover, any private security arrangement abroad can be provided only is it is sanctioned in advance.

First Published: Jun 05, 2006 02:47 IST