New Delhi: The Congress is undertaking massive cost-cutting measures. A party, for which funds had never been an issue, has constituted an ‘austerity measures committee’ to check unregulated expenditure. Party treasurer Motilal Vohra, on recommendation of the committee, has now given a series of guidelines on what measures to take on a day-to-day basis. Interestingly though, the directives have come now but they apply retrospectively.

Train, not flight

All organisation secretaries have been instructed to take a train if the distance is not more than 1,400 km. So, the next time a Congress secretary has to travel from Lucknow to Delhi or Mumbai to Chennai, he would not be allowed to take a flight, according to the new directives. However, if the train fare is higher than the air fare, the party secretary will have to take an economy class flight. Furthermore, the party would not spend on more than two air fares a month on the 56 secretaries who have also been asked to shift base to the states they have been given the responsibilities of.

No travel allowance

While the ‘take a train’ policy is not applicable to general secretaries and state in-charges, the ones who are also Members of Parliament can’t claim travel allowance from now on. There are 12 general secretaries in the All India Congress Committee (AICC). Out of them, four are MPs: Vohra himself, Ambika Soni, Ghulam Nabi Azad and KC Venugopal. There are also 13 state in-charges out of which two are MPs: PL Punia and Rajeev Shankarrao Satav. All these MPs would not be entitled to any allowances from now on during their travel.

Limit canteen cost, switch off computers

According to the directives, canteen costs need to be curtailed. Expenditure on newspapers or magazines too need to be limited. All department heads will have to designate one person from the department who will give weekly accounts of their expenditures to the accounts officer. In fact, as per the directive in this regard, “When out of office, the electric gadgets should be switched off to save power.” 

A Congress spokesperson told MyNation on the condition of anonymity that a massive electricity bill in the past few months prompted this move. In fact, it's not a good news also for those who use official cars. From now on, office-bearers will ‘monitor’ all unauthorised use of official cars.