ISLAMABAD: Finance Division has directed all the Ministries and Divisions to strictly comply with the rules and instructions with respect to ‘Daily Allowance’ (DA) as in some cases government officials are drawing allowances from the public exchequer even for the tours, visits and short courses which are fully funded by foreign governments.
An office memorandum (OM) issued by the Regulation Wing stated that in some cases, it has been observed that government officers are drawing DA 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. The Ministry added that apparently, this is due to a misinterpretation or incorrect application of the applicable rules.
Therefore, the Ministry further stated that the admissibility of DA shall be subject to the conditions: (i) as per para Finance Division’s OM dated 02-08-2023, 30% 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 DA;(iii) the policy instructions contained in Finance Division’s O.M. 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.
Fully funded program by the donor agencies/countries are not covered under this policy;(iv) the Government officials are entitled to full DA during first 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; (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 beat no cost to the Government.
The cases seeking permission of travelling abroad to attend the trainings, meetings, seminars etc. are dealt with by Cabinet Division in the light of instructions issued by Cabinet Division from time to time. The Account General Pakistan General Offices should issue instructions to all prior to making payments.
Ministries/Divisions are, therefore, advised to strictly comply to the rules and instructions in true letter and spirit.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2023