COVID-19 pandemic and resulting mobility restrictions could lead to a 75% reduction in budget allocation for overseas travel in FY22, senior finance ministry official said .
The government will cut “frivolous spending” when all activities take place in virtual mode, Deputy Secretary of the Finance Ministry Madnesh Kumar Mishra told an event hosted by XLRI.
It can be noted that the budget for the next fiscal year is being prepared right now and that managers are also having discussions internally and with external stakeholders for suggestions.
“Two days before I attended a budget proposal, of course the budget is being prepared, on how much money do you need to travel abroad? We only put in a quarter of that than we had planned last year because there are no foreign travel expenses at all, ”Mishra said.
Mishra said video conferencing is the new normal, and even Prime Minister Narendra Modi virtually touched on events like multilateral meetings and added that there was a lot of savings because of it.
Stating that working from home is the new normal, Mishra said even businesses would be looking to cut costs through this new phenomenon by renting less space and spending less on travel, which in turn will help them maximize their profits.
The pandemic has had an emotional and psychological impact as well as social interactions are limited, he said, adding that the experience of the past few months will also lead to a change in the design of homes as arrangements for an office in home will be taken.
Mishra said the pandemic has also given us a new term “vaccine nationalism,” as countries rush to reserve capacity to deliver antidotes to their populations.
In the early days of the lockdown, the entire government apparatus had to be put to work as it was obvious there would be banking and insurance requirements, he said.
Without specifying the context of the meeting, Mishra said in January, there was a meeting of industrialists from all sectors with Minister of Finance Nirmala Sitharaman which was also attended by Minister of Roads and Highways Nitin Gadkari in which none of the 300 manufacturers offered a solution. .
During the three-hour meeting, the industry asked only for concessions from the government and not a single one said they would start their own business, he lamented, and added that such This behavior is at the root of the Prime Minister’s call for ‘the voice for local’.
Mishra also exuded confidence that growth will return soon and he is optimistic about it.