Faced with major disruption of economic activity in the wake of coronavirus outbreak, the Maharashtra government on Monday announced a slew of measures, including no launch of new schemes and near recruitment freeze , to shore up revenue and meet unavoidable expenditures like staff salaries and to carry out important functions.
Under lockdown since late March, the state is fighting a daunting battle against the novel coronavirus even as its industrial and business activities remained largely crippled over the last one-and-a-half months.
The state's finance department on Monday issued a government resolution (GR) outlining a slew of measures it has undertaken to prevent its coffers from getting depleted further. The government has asked various departments to not propose any new scheme in the ongoing fiscal.
The state government will not be spending on any new scheme it had undertaken from the start of fiscal 2020-21, the GR said. The government has designated Public Health, Medical Education, Food and Civil Supplies and Relief & Rehabilitation as priority departments.
All other departments are being barred from issuing new purchase orders or tenders, the GR said. "All departments are directed to not undertake any construction activity, except those required for pre-monsoon work," it said. Recruitment in all departments, except public health and medical education, has been stopped, the GR said. All transfers of officials have been suspended to save on expenditure incurred on them.
According to sources, transfers of officials within the state cost around Rs 100 crore to Rs 200 crore to the exchequer yearly as each one of them has to be given travel allowance to join the new posting. All departments have been asked to return unspent money from their bank accounts to the state treasury before May 31, 2020.
The GR said the state's current financial condition is likely to remain for the next two to three months as it faces a challenge to revive the economy. "These measures are being taken as the decision to disburse salaries of March to state government employees in two instalments has not been enough, said the GR.