Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari deferred buying a new car as part of a string of cost-cutting measures announced today to ensure more funds are available for implementation of COVID-19 relief measures in the state.
The measures announced include discontinuing until further orders the practice of offering gifts or mementos to VVIPS, the practice of welcoming VIP visitors with bouquets and decorating guest house rooms in the Raj Bhavan with vases and flower pots.
"The austerity measures announced will save an estimated 10-15 per cent of the Raj Bhavan's budget in the current financial year," a statement issued today said.
As per the Governor's instructions, all meetings and interactions with vice-chancellors and other officers will be conducted via video conference to avoid expenditure on travelling.
"No new major construction or repair work would be undertaken in the Raj Bhavan. Only ongoing works will be continued and completed," the statement said, adding that there will be no new regular recruitment in the Raj Bhavan until further orders.
Even the Independence Day reception, to be held at the Raj Bhavan in Pune on August 15, has been cancelled.
Governor Koshyari has already contributed his one month's salary and further pledged 30% of his annual earnings to the PM CARES Fund for COVID-19.
Maharashtra has been the worst hit by the highly infectious novel coronavirus disease in India, where total cases climbed to 1.58 lakh with over 4,500 deaths today. Maharashtra's case load - almost 57,000 - accounts for almost a third of all cases reported in India with 1,897 deaths.