Guideline for holding conferences, workshop, seminar

Government of India
Ministry of Finance
Department of Expenditure
E.Coord Branch

New Delhi, 30th May, 2018


Subject: Guidelines to be followed for holding of Conferences / Workshops / Seminars, etc. (Domestic & International)

Ministry of Finance, Department of Expenditure has been issuing guidelines for holding of Conferences/ Workshops/ Seminars, etc. (Domestic & International) from time to time with the objective that Ministries/Departments undertake such events keeping in mind the absolute necessity of it and adhering to utmost economy. The extant guidelines have been reviewed and stand revised.

2. It has been decided that henceforth only proposals involving expenditure above Rs. 40 lakhs for International as well as domestic Conferences/ Seminars/ Workshops etc. will need to be referred to the Department of Expenditure.

3. International conferences/ workshops /seminars/ meetings etc:

i) All proposals involving expenditure of Rs. 40 Lakh or less for holding conferences! workshops/ seminars/ meetings etc. involving participation of foreign delegates may be decided by the Ministry/ Department in consultation with their Financial Adviser. The approval of the Minister in Charge, political clearance from Ministry of External Affairs and clearance of Ministry of Home Affairs from security angle (wherever required) shall be obtained.

ii) All Proposals involving expenditure above Rs. 40 (Forty) lakh for incurring expenditure on holding conferences/ workshops/ seminars/ meetings etc. with international participation should be referred to the Department of Expenditure (DoE) with the approval of the Minister in Charge, political clearance from Ministry of External Affairs and clearance of Ministry of Home Affairs from security angle (wherever required) for obtaining approval of the Cabinet Secretary through Secretary (Expenditure).

iii) Commitment for bearing travel! accommodation cost on participants from foreign countries should be kept to the barest minimum. Ministries/ Departments shall exercise utmost economy and austerity in this regard.

iv) “In-principle” approval of the Minister-in-charge should be taken sufficiently in advance before the event.

v) Priority will be given to those conferences that arise out of international agreements/ obligations. Other conferences etc. should be planned only if there is residual provision in the Budget.

vi) All preparations for holding the conference and other formalities should be completed sufficiently in advance to avoid any last minute hitch and embarrassment.

vii) All administrative arrangements including issuance of invitations should be done after receiving Cabinet Secretary’s approval or as per the powers delegated under this OM.

4. Domestic conferences!/workshops /seminars/meetings etc:

Proposals involving Rs. 40 (Forty) lakh or less may be decided by the Ministry/Department in consultation with their Financial Adviser. Proposals involving expenditure above Rs. 40 (Forty) lakh for incurring expenditure on holding conferences! workshops/seminars!/meetings etc. with participation limited to Indian delegates only may be referred to Department of Expenditure for approval of Secretary (Expenditure). Approval of Secretary of the Ministry/ Department may be obtained prior to the file being referred to Department of Expenditure.

5. Autonomous Bodies:

i) Conferences held by Autonomous Bodies generally generate revenue from sponsorships and registrations and most of the time either they do not require government support or require in small portions. Administrative Ministries are . competent to grant approval for holding the conferences (whether domestic or international) where no funds are required from Government.

ii) However, if Government funds are required and the financial assistance required is more than Rs. 40 Lakhs for International as well as Domestic conferences/workshops !seminars/ meetings etc. such cases shall be referred to Department of Expenditure.

6. General Instructions:

While referring the cases of Conferences etc., whether domestic or international, to Department of Expenditure, following may be strictly adhered to:

(i) Holding of Exhibition/ fairs/ seminars/ conferences/ workshops etc. abroad should be discouraged except for promotion of trade and business and for projection of ‘Brand India’. For this purpose, depending on the nature of event, if
more than one Ministry/ Department is involved, a Nodal Ministry/ Department should be identified to take the lead for coordinating and organizing the event.

(ii) All proposals referred to Department of Expenditure on the subject should be sent at least one month in advance of commencement of the event and only through the Financial Adviser concerned. While referring the proposals to the
Department of Expenditure, it may be ensured that necessary clearances viz. from Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of Home Affairs etc. and approval of competent authority in the Ministry! Department have been obtained and placed in the file. In the absence of these, the proposals will be returned without processing in the Department of Expenditure.

(iii) Sufficient provrsion in the relevant Budget should be ensured before such proposals are processed in the Ministry/ Department and before referring proposals to Department of Expenditure. The proposal should clearly indicate the
budget provision.

(iv) Stipulated timeline for submission of proposals may be adhered to strictly. It may be noted that henceforth, delayed proposals will not be processed unless accompanied by a Delay Report containing reasons for delay, duly approved by
the Administrative Secretary.

(v) Holding of conferences! workshops/seminars/ meetings etc. in Five Star Hotels is banned except in case of bilateral/ multilateral official engagements held at the level of Minister-in-Charge or Administrative Secretary with foreign Government or international bodies of which India is a Member. Any deviation in this regard should be referred to the Department of Expenditure with adequate justification.

(vi) Ministries/Departments shall not resort to seeking ex post- facto approval on the proposals since they are liable to be rejected. Hence, adequate advance planning and obtention of all requisite approvals!clearances is emphasized.

7. Notwithstanding the enhancement in the prescribed expenditure ceiling, all Ministries/ Departments shall ensure utmost economy in public expenditure.

These instructions will come into operation with immediate effect.

(H. Atheli)
Tel: 2309 2604

Read/Download Department of Expenditure OM No.19(36)/E.Coord/2018 dated 30th May 2018.

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