At a time when the state exchequer is reeling under debt, the Maharashtra government has decided to impose a three-foreign trip a year restriction on officials.
According to an order issued by the General Administration Department (GAD), foreign tours will be granted approvals only when the state stands to gain genuinely from such tours.
A Government Resolution (GR) issued by the state government stated that the number of days stipulated for each tour will not exceed 15 days and the Chief Minister’s approval will be required for each trip.
“Any official who wishes to travel abroad will have to submit details on the kind of tour being undertaken, number of officials in the delegation, the place to be visited, persons to be met and details of stay during the tour,” the GR stated.
“Requests for foreign trips should be made only if that particular trip is unavoidable. It has to be clearly stated what does the state stand to gain from the trip,” it said.
The state’s austerity drive will be extended to civil servants, functionaries of statutory boards and public undertakings as well.
The GR also stated that proposals of officials who are not related to the tour and are even travelling on their own expenses, accompanying officials, will not be entertained.
Tours conducted to seek any information which can be sought through video conferencing facility or which is publicly available, should be avoided, it added.
According to the rules prescribed by the government, any official who wants to undertake a foreign trip should first apply with their respective department’s secretary following which the proposal will be forwarded to a special committee headed by the Chief Secretary.
After being cleared by the special committee, the proposal will be forwarded to the Chief Minister for approval.
And finally a clearance from the Union government’s relevant ministry will be compulsorily required before an official can undertake a tour.
“Officials in their final year of service will be barred to undertake any tour. It has also been decided that ministers and secretaries are prohibited from travelling at the same time,” the resolution said.