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Posted at: Mar 11, 2018, 1:22 AM; last updated: Mar 11, 2018, 1:22 AM (IST)

Shift to govt buildings or pay rent, departments told

Ruchika M Khanna

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 10

The Finance Department has ordered 18 government departments/corporations to vacate their rented accommodation and shift to government buildings within this month.

The department won’t make a budgetary provision in the coming fiscal for paying rent for these offices, located in Chandigarh and Mohali.

It’s a catch-22 situation for the offices as there is hardly any space left in government offices and offices of various boards/corporations to accommodate more departments on their premises.

The government had ordered shifting of all offices operating from private buildings in July last year, with the aim of saving Rs 40 crore per annum that was being paid as rent. Sources said over 20 offices in Chandigarh had shifted to government buildings in the past six months.

Sources in the Finance Department said letters had been sent to the Director, Sports; Director, Kandi; Director, Lokpal; Chief Engineer, Irrigation; Vigilance Department; Director, Scheduled Castes and Backward Classes; Punjab Water Resource Management and Development; Director, Food Processing; Social Security Department; Director, State Transport; State Transport Commissioner; Punjab Infrastructure Development Board; Punjab Roads and Bridges Corporation; Director, Civil Aviation; Career Study Centre; Irrigation Department; and the Administry General and Government Trustee Branch of the Home Department.

They have been told to shift to the office of any board or corporation or pay rent themselves. A nominal rent will be paid to the boards and corporations whose premises are to be used by these offices. Only some wings of the Tourism Department and an office of the Home Department, located outside Punjab, have been exempted. Their rent will be paid by the Finance Department. Officers in the GAD said they were trying to accommodate these departments, but space crunch in government buildings was proving to be a stumbling block.

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