With an intention to control expenditure in state-run companies, Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has started keeping a close eye on the fringe benefits of all the senior officials of the Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) in the oil and gas sector. These benefits include perks, various facilities given to officials such as foreign travel and more.
According to a report published by Indian Express, Pradhan’s ministry, in a letter, has asked all PSUs to submit a detailed report on the perks and facilities that are being provided to the board-level directors. The initiative is aimed at highlighting the monetary implications of such perks on a company’s balance sheet and also flagging the issue if they did not fall within the official guidelines.
The move by the Petroleum ministry came soon after receiving complaints from the Central Vigilance Commission and the Cabinet Secretariat. These complaints highlighted that the PSUs were giving out extra benefits to their directors and some of these perks were said to be beyond the norms permitted by the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE).
You might also want to see this:
The letter issued to the PSUs read: “It is not clear whether these facilities/perks are being given with the approval of the board of the PSUs.” The report by Indian Express further informed that Pradhan had also mentioned concerns over foreign travel benefits availed by officials in these PSUs and hence the ministry has sent a separate communication to the PSUs asking the details of the foreign trips taken by the officials in the recent past.
The letter has specifically stated the format the travel details should be provided. It said, “Against the name of each officer, the number of times he has visited abroad and names of the countries should be mentioned. The purpose of each foreign visit and outcome of the visit shall also be mentioned against each name.”
The details cover Pradhan’s tenure as minister starting with financial year 2014-15 till date.