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Sikkim: Finance dept issues austerity measures to address economic fallout for financial year 2021-22

GANGTOK: Sikkim Finance Department has issued with immediate effect major austerity measures to address the current economic fallout for the remaining part of the financial year 2021-22.

The measures include a mandatory 50% cut in all revenue expenditures except salaries, wages, pensions, interest payments, debt repayment, and purchases for centrally sponsored schemes.

Ministerial discretionary grants have been limited to 50%, while grants to Zilla and Gram Panchayats have been postponed.

The notification states a complete ban on the purchase and replacement of computers, furniture, vehicles, furnishing, and fixtures and also bans any major repairs of vehicles.

All expenditure on minor works will also now be restricted to emergency services, electricity, fire, and water supply only and there will be a complete ban on the payment of pending liabilities, other than for emergency services.

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The Sikkim government has banned all domestic and foreign travel except for the implementation of centrally sponsored schemes and announced ‘no drawal of tour fuel’.

The notification also bans all exhibitions, fairs, seminars, workshops, meetings outside the state and only with the prior concurrence of the Finance Department within the state.

Hosting official reception and serving or refreshments during meetings is also now completely banned except for exceptional circumstances.

A complete ban on advertising of any kind has also been announced in local and national newspapers.

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