Ram Nath Kovind
President Ram Nath Kovind. Image credit - https://www.amarujala.com

President Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday announced to forgo 30 per cent of his salary for a year and a slew of measures to help the government in its fight against the COVID19 pandemic.

“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,” a statement from the Rashtrapati Bhavan said.

The domestic tours and programmes of the President will be substantially reduced in order to follow the social distancing restrictions and minimise the expenditure that such exercises entail, it added.

“Instead, the President will largely rely on technology to reach out to people,” the statement added.

The Rashtrapati Bhavan will not carry out any new capital works for the current financial year and will complete only the ongoing tasks.

Moreover, the repair and maintenance work will also be minimised to only ensure proper upkeep of assets.

The Rashtrapati Bhavan has also decided to substantially reduce the use of office consumables and instead use e-technology to cut down the use of paper to avoid wastage and make the office eco-friendly.

President Kovind 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 statement said.

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.

“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.

Meanwhile, it will be ensured that such austerity measures would have no adverse impact on support given to outsourced/contractual workers, said the statement.

“Other activities taken up by the Rashtrapati Bhavan for the welfare of poor people will not be affected,” the statement further said.

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