With Covid-19 impacting its revenues drastically, the Tamil Nadu government has barred officials from purchasing equipment and machinery, motor vehicles and furniture, and cut down on exhibitions and training programmes. It has also disallowed the purchase of computers and accessories, cut down on traveling and daily allowances, among other things as it goes on a massive economy drive due to the impact of Covid-19 on its revenues. Expenditure on government account and on the accounts of Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs), local bodies, universities, autonomous boards and other public entities have also been curtailed to an extent.
Journey by air for government officials has been restricted, with resident commissioners of Tamil Nadu House in New Delhi deputed to attend Government of India meetings in the Capital. General transfers shall be kept on hold for 2020-21 to minimise expenditure on transfer travel. Leave travel concession has been deferred for all employee categories and teachers from the date of order.
“The Government is facing a huge shortfall in receipts due to the Covid-19 pandemic. There are mounting additional expenditure commitments towards containment, prevention, relief and mitigation activities,” it said.
The Government has made a detailed study of the current situation and is taking necessary action to minimise fiscal stress so that expenditure on welfare schemes and capital work are given priority.
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“Revenue Receipts and Revenue Expenditure assumed in the Budget Estimates 2020-21 have been drastically affected by the Covid-19 outbreak since March 2020,” said a Government Order issued to cut expenditure. As part of the economy drive and resource mobilisation efforts, the Government has decided to curtail certain avoidable items of expenditure this financial year, under all the Demands for Grants.
Contingencies as part of office expenses have been cut by 20 per cent, furniture expenditure by 50 per cent, exhibitions under advertising and publicity by 25 per cent. All official lunches and dinners and other forms of entertainment have been pruned by 50 per cent, machinery and equipment purchase, except for essential services like health and family welfare, fire and rescue services and externally aided projects, by 25 per cent etc.
A total ban on purchase of new vehicles has been imposed, except for emergency services like medical and ambulatory, police and fire. Except for the fundamental foundation training programmes as part of the probation or promotion and Covid-19 related training requirements, all other schedules including training abroad have been banned, with a flat 50 per cent cut in the budget provisions. Purchase of new computers and accessories will not be allowed except for replacement of very old and dysfunctional systems, reducing the budgeted amount by 25 per cent. Travel and daily allowance has been controlled and foreign travel at government cost will not be permitted.