May 14: Rashtrapati Bhavan to support ‘Self-Reliant India’ movement through a greater flow of resources towards COVID-19. The Rashtrapati Bhavan will undertake several measures to reduce its expenditure. As a part of steps to make more resources available for COVID-19 relief measures, the President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, after contributing one month’s salary to the PM-CARES Fund in March, has decided to forego 30 percent of his salary for a year.
There will be a 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 & fuel by rationalising their usage. The domestic tours and programs will be substantially reduced to follow the social distancing restrictions and minimize the expenditure that such exercises entail. Instead, the President will largely rely on technology to reach out to people.
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.
The Rashtrapati Bhavan will undertake the following measures to reduce its expenditure:
- No new capital works will be taken up in FY 2020-21. Only the ongoing works will be completed.
- Repair and maintenance work will be minimised to only ensure the proper upkeep of assets.
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.
Expenses for occasions such as At-Home ceremonies and state banquets will be minimised by taking measures like:
- Smaller guest lists to maintain social distance,
- The minimum decoration on such occasions, and reducing the menu
It is estimated that these measures will save nearly 20 percent of the budget of the Rashtrapati Bhavan in the current financial year.