Struggling with burgeoning expenditure for fighting Covid-19, the finance ministry has banned the creation of new posts in the central government, except those approved by the expenditure department under the ministry.
"There will be a ban on creation of new posts, except with the approval of the department of expenditure, in the ministries/departments, attached offices, subordinate offices, statutory bodies and autonomous bodies," says an office memorandum issued by the department of expenditure.
Any posts created after July 1 without the approval of the expenditure department will remain vacant if they haven't yet been filled, the memorandum says.
The memorandum also asked ministries and departments to carry out a review of the individual consultants appointed by them and reduce their number to the minimum. It also asked them to exercise economy while fixing the fee of consultants, saying it should be commensurate to the quality of their work.
It also asked for discouraging expenditure on functions such as celebrations of foundation day. If these are to be held, these are to be curtailed appropriately.
It also directed that no printing or publishing of books and documents will be done on imported paper, except where it is done abroad by Indian Missions.
In the context of the present fiscal situation and the consequent pressure on Government resources, there is a need for further economy and rationalisation of non-priority expenditure, while protecting and preserving priority expenditure," the department said.
Earlier, the department had extended curbs on expenditures by three months from July. It had in April classified government departments into three categories and tightened their spending for the April-June period, barring for those fighting the outbreak. The ministries or departments under category ‘C’ such as petrochemicals, coal, commerce, telecommunications, among others, could spend only 15 per cent of budget estimate for the current year, while those in category ‘B’ such as fertilizers, posts, defence services can spend only 20 per cent. No curbs were placed for departments under category ‘A’ that include agriculture, ayurveda, pharmaceuticals, civil aviation, rural development, among others.
It had also put on hold the hike in dearness allowance (DA) for the government servants and pensions for the current financial year.