Restrictions on babus’ foreign travel

Restrictions on babus’ foreign travel

By ABHINANDAN MISHRA | NEW DELHI | 13 February, 2016
Bureaucrats enjoying unrestricted freedom to travel abroad to attend programmes and seminars sponsored by private companies, will become a thing of the past, with the Union government now putting restrictions on foreign travel by babus. 
As per the new policy, now the bureaucrats will have to seek prior permission of the state government, the Ministry of Home affairs and the Ministry of External Affairs before embarking on any such visits.
According to officials aware of the development, the official who wants to go to a foreign country will be required to submit complete details of the reason for the travel, the expenses that will be incurred in the travel, the agency that will bear his expense and the benefits that the state or the department where the official is presently working will get if the officer is allowed to attend the seminar or programme.
 “Around one dozen questions need to be answered to seek clearance for any such tour. Earlier, the officials would submit an international invitation from a MNC, an NGO or a government body and then leave for the ‘special education, training or seminar’. Needless to say, most of these tours were sponsored by various bodies to keep the IAS officers in good humour. However, with the new set of rules, only those bureaucrats who are able to prove that the tour is beneficial for the larger public good will be able to go,” an official familiar with the development said.
According to officials, the new rules have been brought into effect to make sure that an official spends more time in his department or his place of posting if he is serving in a district.
Recently, an IAS officer based in Bihar left on a foreign tour after submitting the proposal to the General Administrative Department (GAD) and after he came back, he was asked to submit the permission that he had taken from the Central government, but since he had not sought the permission from the Centre, he was not able to submit it. 
“In his case, the time that he has spent on the unapproved foreign tour will be deducted from his remaining service, thereby shortening his tenure. The same (not taking relevant permission) will also be added to his service records,” an official from the GAD, Bihar, said.

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