Bid to cut spending: Restriction imposed on public servants foreign trips

Staff Reporter :
The government has decided to stop foreign trips of its officials in a bid to cut spending.
The finance ministry issued a circular in this regard on Thursday, saying that the decision was taken in the context of post-Covid economic recovery and ongoing global crisis.
“Low priority foreign trips including exposure visits, study tour, APA and innovation tour, and workshops/seminars under operation and development budgets have been banned for all government officials until further notice,” said the circular.
The ministry came up with the move a day after Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal revealed Sheikh Hasina’s decision as part of efforts to cut spending.
After a meeting on Wednesday, Kamal faced questions from reporters on criticism of the government over officials making “unnecessary” foreign tours at the expense of taxpayers’ money. It will also defer projects that are not urgent, he said.
“We’ve made a decision. These [the ‘needless’ tours] had been approved earlier. But the prime minister has said there’ll be no unnecessary foreign trips. No one will go abroad without a special reason,” he said.
Before the pandemic, officials made foreign trips every year to participate in training, meetings, and seminars, spending taxpayer money.
In some cases, project implementing agencies created provisions for foreign tours for officials who had nothing to do with the project.
There have been criticisms over such frequent foreign tours of government officials as many such trips at public expense reportedly yield nothing.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina also spoke against such frequent trips abroad.