Published: 14th May 2020
President to forgo 30 pc of salary for a year. Rashtrapati Bhavan to take steps to reduce expenditure
Repair and maintenance work will be minimised to only ensure the proper upkeep of assets
President Ram Nath Kovind has decided to forgo 30 per cent of his salary for a year in a bid to fund the fight against COVID-19 while the Rashtrapati Bhavan will take a number of measures to reduce its expenditure. President Kovind had earlier contributed his one month's salary to the PM-CARES Fund in March.
The President has given instructions to the Rashtrapati Bhavan to set an example by economising the expenditure, making optimal usage of resources and dovetailing the saved money to combat Covid-19 and mitigate the people's economic plight.
"In the President's estimation, this will be a small but significant contribution to realise the government's vision of making India self-reliant (Atmanirbhar) and energise the nation to take up the challenge to fight the pandemic and continue our journey for development and prosperity simultaneously," an official release from Rashtrapati Bhavan said.
The Rashtrapati Bhavan will undertake a number of measures to reduce its expenditure which includes not taking up new capital works in FY 2020-21 and completing only the ongoing works. Repair and maintenance work will be minimised to only ensure the proper upkeep of assets.
Consumption during ceremonial occasions like At-Home ceremonies and state banquets will be minimised by taking measures like keeping smaller guest lists to maintain social distance, lesser usage of flowers and other items for decoration and reducing food menu to the extent possible.
Also, there will be a substantial reduction in the use of office consumables. The Rashtrapati Bhavan will use e-technology to cut down the use of paper to avoid wastage and make the office eco-friendly as well as efforts will be made to save energy and fuel by rationalising their usage.
"The President has decided to defer purchase of the Presidential Limousine which was to be used for ceremonial occasions. The existing resources of the Rashtrapati Bhavan and the Government will be shared and used for such occasions," read the release.
"The domestic tours and programmes will be substantially reduced in order to follow the social distancing restrictions and minimise the expenditure that such exercises entail. Instead, the President will largely rely on technology to reach out to people," it said.
According to the release, it is estimated that these measures will save nearly 20 per cent of the budget of the Rashtrapati Bhavan in the current financial year. "Meanwhile, it will be ensured that such austerity measures would have no adverse impact on support given to outsourced/contractual workers. Other activities taken up by the Rashtrapati Bhavan for the welfare of poor people will not be affected either," it said.