The government has further clamped down on overseas travel by officials and said that special permission will be required for foreign study tours.
Pointing out that a number of ministers have proposed foreign study tours of large delegations of officers as a part of training programmes, the expenditure department in the finance ministry has said, “Prior approval of the Screening Committee of secretaries would be required for all such tours of delegations exceeding five members.” The missive, which has been sent to all government ministries has said the norms would be applicable on all foreign study tours that are being funded by the government and are part of career training programmes or stand alone tours.
“(This is) in keeping with the government’s drive on economy and rationalisation of expenditure and to have an objective assessment of such tours,” the missive explained.
This is the latest in a series of measures by the government to cut down foreign travel by officials and ministers. While austerity measures announced earlier this month had banned first class foreign travel, a previous circular had restricted foreign trips to just four in a year for government officials. Officers have also been encouraged to participate in overseas events through video conferencing.
Soon after the new government was formed, the Cabinet secretariat had also said that ministers and officers would have to submit proposals of their foreign travels to the PMO at least 10 days in advance as well a list out tasks accomplished on the tour.