ISLAMABAD: Government officers in violation of rules are drawing daily allowance and other perks from the exchequer even for foreign tours/visits and short courses which are fully funded by foreign governments or international agencies, official documents of the Finance Ministry revealed.
The ministry stated that the Accountant General Pakistan Revenue and Military Accountant General Offices should issue instructions to all account offices to scrutinise the bills prior to making payments. It further advised to all ministries/divisions to strictly comply with the rules/instructions in true letter and spirit.
The Finance Ministry stated that in some cases, it has been observed that government officers are drawing daily allowance and other allowances from the public exchequer even for foreign tours/visits and short courses which are fully funded by foreign governments or international agencies. Apparently, this is due to a misinterpretation or incorrect application of the applicable rules.
The admissibility of daily allowance shall be subject to the following conditions; (i) As per para-5 (iv) of this Division’s O.M No.1 (10)R.10/2006-259 dated 02.08.2023, 30 percent of the DA is admissible to the government officials who are declared “State Guests” by the host country and are provided boarding and lodging. The Government officials, who attend fully funded training courses and seminars, are not treated as “State Guests” unless they are declared as such by the host country.
(ii) The government officials proceeding abroad to participate in trainings, seminar, symposia, international conferences, visits and programs etc where return air ticket, boarding and accommodation is borne by donor agencies/countries, whatever its duration may be. The government officials are not entitled to daily allowance as laid down in this Division’s O.M.No.F.3 (24)R-10/87, dated 05-11-2020.
(iii) The policy instructions contained in Finance Division’s O.M.No.F.3(24)R-10/04/313/05 dated 16-06-2005, are applicable in case of short-term obligatory seminars, symposia, international conferences, tours and programmes where partial subsidy was provided by the government of Pakistan. Fully funded program by the donor agencies/countries are not covered under this policy.
(iv) The government officials are entitled to full DA during 1st week and subsistence allowance fixed amount per month only for the rest of the training period, where the entire expenses of the training are borne by the government of Pakistan itself (other than foreign technical assistance program) as per Finance Division’s O.M.No.F.6(1)R-10/83209/08, dated 27-06-2008.
(v) Where the visit is fully funded, in each case while authorizing visits and courses abroad, the relevant Ministries/Division should clearly mention in the notification of approval that the visit will be “at no cost to the government,
The cases seeking permission of travelling abroad to attend trainings/meetings/seminars etc are dealt with by the Cabinet Division in the light of instructions issued by the Cabinet Division from time to time. Cabinet Division has issued the latest instructions vide O.M.No.F.9-148/2002-Min-lI, dated 26-10-2018 (Annex-V) as amended vide O.M No.F.9-148/2002-Min-lI, dated 07-10-2021.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2023