NEW DELHI: The Centre has made it mandatory for all ministries and government departments to seek prior approval of the Finance Ministry if their expenditure on seminars, workshops and similar events exceeds Rs 40 lakh.
This is in order to keep in check the rising number of bills being posted on such events. Proposals involving expenses less than Rs 40 lakh will have to be approved by the financial advisor of the concerned ministry.
“It has been decided that henceforth, only proposals involving expenditure of above Rs 40 lakh for international as well as domestic seminars/conferences/workshops etc. will need to be referred to the Department of Expenditure,” a recent office memorandum of the Department of Expenditure said.
The memorandum has also advised against holding exhibitions, fairs, seminars, conferences and workshops abroad unless it is necessary for the promotion of trade and business and for ‘Brand India’ projects.
It also said that the departments should exercise utmost austerity with regard to travel, and the accommodation cost should be kept at the barest minimum.
According to sources in the Finance Ministry, the move was initiated after two ministries posted “extravagant bills” on such events, much to the dismay of the government.
“In many ministries, the bills of fairs and workshops were abnormally high. Also, in many cases, bills on food and beverages were quite high. The purpose of such events is to brainstorm. There is no need for such an extravagant ways,” a senior official from the ministry told The New Indian Express. The official added that the government will closely scrutinise such expenditure in future.
What’s in the files
- Seminars, workshops and similar events whose expenditure exceeds J40 lakh needs prior approval of Finance Ministry
- Proposals involving expenses less than the amount will have to be approved by the financial advisor of the concerned ministry
- The move is to keep a check on rising number of bills posted by ministries government departments on such events