No Presidential Limousine, 30% pay cut: President Kovind rolls out austerity measures at Rashtrapati Bhavan

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Published: May 14, 2020 4:18:42 PM

The President has decided to defer the purchase of the Presidential Limousine which was to be used for ceremonial occasions.

The President will largely rely on technology to reach out to people.

Covid-19 in India: President Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday decided to forego 30 per cent cut of his salary for the entire year as a part of steps to make more resources available to the nation in its fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, besides undertaking a slew of other measures to cut down the expenditure at the lavish Rashtrapati Bhavan by almost 20 percent. A statement issued by the Rashtrapati Bhavan today said that the President has given instructions to the Rashtrapati Bhavan to set an example by economising expenditure, making optimal usage of resources, and dovetailing the saved money to combat the pandemic and mitigate the economic plight.

Apart from this, the Rashtrapati Bhavan has also decided to undertake certain measures to reduce its expenditure in the prevailing situation. According to the statement, no new capital works will be taken up for the current year — only the ongoing works will be completed. Repair and maintenance work will be minimised to only ensure proper upkeep of assets.

“There will be substantial reduction in the use of office consumables. For instance, the Rashtrapati Bhavan will use e-technology to cut down the use of paper to avoid wastage and make the office eco-friendly. Efforts will be made to save energy and fuel by rationalising their usage,” the Rashtrapati Bhavan said.

Also, the President has decided to defer the purchase of the Presidential Limousine which was to be used for ceremonial occasions. The existing resources of the Bhavan and the government will be shared and used for such occasions. The domestic tours and programmes will be substantially reduced in order to follow the social distancing norms and minimise the expenditure that such exercises entail.

The President will largely rely on technology to reach out to people. The President has also decided to cut consumption during ceremonial occasions such as ceremonies and state banquets by taking measures like keeping smaller guest lists, lesser usage of flowers and other items for decoration, reducing food menu to the extent possible.

The Rashtrapati Bhavan said that these measures will save nearly 20 per cent of the budget in the current financial year. It, however, said that it will be ensured that such austerity measures would have no adverse impact on support given to outsourced/contractual workers.

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