Kerala govt to tighten its belt, plans slew of cost-saving measures

Kerala govt to tighten its belt, plans slew of cost-saving measures
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Thiruvananthapuram: The state has banned the beautification of government buildings and the purchase of furniture and vehicles for a year as the Cabinet approved the main recommendations of the reports of the three committees that were appointed to look into ways to cut costs.

Events such as official discussions, meetings, trainings, workshops and debates should be conducted online as much as possible.

Employees continue to be associated with many projects, including central schemes, that are no longer in operation. A count of the employees in such schemes will be taken and the additional staff will be transferred.

Also, typists will be shifted from sections that use the e-office software.

The other recommendations that have been approved are:

• Additional clerical staff from various departments and institutions such as Public Works, Water Resources and Water Authority will be posted in other departments.

• Entities of the same nature, such as welfare funds, commissions, authorities and societies, will be brought under a single governing body.

• There will only be a coordinating office that will be set up for the functioning of non-statutory judicial commissions.

• Details of government vehicles should be entered into the Vehicle Management System called ‘Wills’ on the Finance Department's website. The procurement, maintenance and sales of government vehicles, appointment of employees staffed and creation of posts should be done only on the basis of details posted on ‘Wills’.

• A unified online system will be implemented for submitting and verifying the details of official travel expenses and their reimbursement.

• Items that need not be stored in offices and institutions should be auctioned off online within the next three months.

• It should be determined how much space is unused in the building facilities of offices and institutions and those entities working on rented premises should be shifted to such vacant spaces.

• The government will go on mission mode and set up a task force to collect the lease amounts of land immediately. The rent will be calculated on the basis of the market value of the land. Land left unused by the public sector and government agencies will be reclaimed.

• The bills of departments, works of the local self-government department and suppliers will be shifted to the Bill Discounting System from November 1.

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