Telangana birth forces Andhra Pradesh govt to order belt-tightening exercise as economy shrinks

Written by PTI | Hyderabad | Updated: Jul 30 2014, 00:41am hrs
Faced with a resource crunch following the creation of Telangana, the Andhra Pradesh government has come out with a slew of measures to ensure fiscal discipline and financial prudence for the current financial year.

The N Chandrababu Naidu government issued instructions to ensure that adequate funds are available for taking up priority developmental programmes of the government.

The Government Order issued by the Finance Department yesterday is applicable to all departments of the secretariat, heads of departments, district collectors, district treasury officers, all universities, panchayat raj institutions, all local bodies, including municipalities, municipal corporations and PSUs universities and others.

The GO said posts would be created based only on absolute necessity and all the departments are advised to critically review the necessity of continuing permitted number of Outsourcing of Staff and see if the purpose can be served by reducing the number.

"In any case, no further sanction of outsourcing of support staff shall be proposed by the departments except when absolutely necessary," it said.

No proposal for abolition of existing revenue stream shall be entertained and a proposal which involves additional burden on exchequer shall not be permitted except when absolutely necessary.

The order stipulated that entertaining at government expenditure should be reduced to the "barest minimum" and all the departments are advised to observe economy in expenditure in holding conferences and meetings.

"Holding of meetings and conferences at 'Five Star Hotels' at State cost should be avoided except when absolutely necessary. All ministers, other dignitaries of Cabinet Rank and officials drawing salary of Rs 80,000 (fixed) only are permitted to travel by air in business class as per eligibility," said the GO, which added that no foreign visits at the cost of state exchequer will be allowed.

The ban on purchase of new vehicles ordered in 2005 would continue.

The expenditure on advertisements directly by the departments shall be limited to the barest minimum and it should be paid from the budget provision of the concerned departments.

"The media campaign of Flag Ship Programme Campaign is exempted," it said.

Requesting all departments of Secretariat and all Heads of Departments to follow the instructions scrupulously without any deviation, the GO asserts that any failure on the part of the Departments to implement the above instructions will be viewed seriously by the government.

Any relaxation of the instructions in exceptional cases invariably requires the approval of the Chief Minister as stipulated in the A P Business Rules and Secretariat Office Manual in this regard, the GO said.

The Chief Minister, who released a white paper on the state's finances earlier this month, said the state faced a "resource gap" of Rs 18,236 crores during the current year.

"The resource gap for the current year was estimated at Rs 18,236 crore, which translated into a revenue deficit of 4.84 per cent and fiscal deficit of 7.18 per cent.

"Resource gap for the ten-month period of the current fiscal is around Rs 15,691 crore, compared to a Rs 3,555 crore surplus for Telangana. The current context has positioned Andhra Pradesh in a fiscally precarious position," Naidu had said.