J&K govt bans official meetings at private hotels as part of austerity drive

27 Oct 2017

The Jammu and Kashmir government is trying to save every penny as it has banned official meetings and conferences at private hotels and directed such events to be held at government buildings and premises.

"There will be a ban on holding meetings and conferences at private hotels. Government buildings and premises would be utilised instead," stated a circular issued by the finance department listing such austerity measures. The state government also said holding of exhibitions, fairs, seminars and conferences outside the state is strongly discouraged, except for promotion of tourism and handicrafts. "The officers should only travel by economy class within the country, regardless of the entitlement. In all cases of air travel, the lowest air fare ticket available for entitled class is to be purchased," the circular read.

The officials were also directed to use the facility of video conferencing effectively to attend meetings and avoid travel for this purpose as much as possible. The state government also suggested that travel expenditure should be regulated to ensure each department remains within the allocated budget for the same. "Reappropriation and augmentation proposals on this account will not be entertained," it clearly said. According to the government, purchase of new vehicles to meet operational requirements is permitted, but only as a replacement measure and with prior concurrence of the finance department.