BHUBANESWAR: Even as the Centre has withdrawn the ban on purchase of vehicles by various departments in order to provide some relief to the automobile industry hit hard by demand slump, Odisha Government prohibited its departments from purchasing vehicles for officers.
Ahead of presentation of annual budget in the Assembly, the State Government has issued a complete ban on purchase of Government vehicles and officials have been directed to use hired vehicles.
Chief Secretary Asit Tripathy has directed Secretaries and heads of all departments not to procure vehicles for Government officers’ use.
The direction comes into force with immediate effect, he said. Tripathy made it clear that purchase of vehicles will not be allowed other than those for use of judges of Orissa High Court and in rare cases like security-related requirements.
These purchases too would require specific and prior approval from the Government, he added.
“Hiring of vehicles will be adopted as default mode. The guidelines issued by the Finance department containing detailed modalities for hiring of private vehicles will be followed in letter and spirit,” Tripathy instructed department heads.
The decision has been taken as part of austerity measures adopted by the State Government which is under stress due to economic slowdown and reduced Central allocation followed by declining revenue collection from the resources.
Stating that the Government has, from time to time, taken various austerity measures to reduce administrative expenditure, the Chief Secretary expressed displeasure that some public functionaries are reluctant to use hired vehicles and insist on purchase of vehicles despite a circular from the Finance department.
Austerity bans vehicle purchase
“Even where there is no driver, having residual service of 15 years or more to run vehicles available, requests are being made to purchase new vehicles and allow drivers on outsourcing basis. It costs dearer to the State exchequer as it not only involves cost of the vehicle, but also maintenance, salary and pension liabilities of driver,” he observed.
While the ban on purchase of vehicles will be applicable to all State Public Sector Undertakings, Societies and autonomous bodies, the modalities set for hiring of vehicles as per the Finance department circular will remain in force.
Departments prohibited from purchasing vehicles for officers
Officials directed to use hired vehicles
Exemption for Orissa High Court judges and in rare cases like security-related requirements
The decision taken as part of austerity measures due to economic slowdown and reduced Central allocation
Ban applicable to all State PSUs, Societies and autonomous bodies