President Ram Nath Kovind has decided to take 30 per cent salary cut for himself besides announcing a slew of other austerity measures to aid the government's fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
The domestic tours and programmes of the President will be substantially reduced in order to follow social distancing restrictions and minimise expenditure, according to a Rashtrapati Bhavan communique issued on Thursday.
The consumption during ceremonial occasions such as At-Home ceremonies and state banquets will also be minimised by keeping smaller guest lists, reducing the food menu and lesser usage of flowers and other decorative items, it said.
Kovind has also 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," the communique said.
The repair and maintenance work in the Rashtrapati Bhavan will be minimised to only ensure proper upkeep of assets.
The Rashtrapati Bhavan will not take up any new capital works in the current fiscal and only the ongoing works will be completed, it said.
There will be 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, the communique said.
"Efforts will be made to save energy and fuel by rationalising their usage," it said.
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 communique said.
"In the President's estimation, this will be a small but significant contribution to realise the government's vision of making India self-reliant (Atmanirbhar) and energise the nation to take up the challenge to fight the pandemic and continue our journey for development and prosperity simultaneously," it added.