Understanding the provisions for foreign visits of State government Ministers-The Hindu-04-08-2022



Delhi lieutenant governor (LG) Vinai Kumar Saxena recently advised Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal against attending the World Cities Summit in Singapore as it was for “mayors of cities”.

In Detail :

Prelim + Mains

On August 16, 1982, the Cabinet Secretariat issued an office memorandum titled “‘Guidelines regarding foreign travel of Ministers of State government and Union Territories and State government officials”, stating that foreign visits by members of the State governments in their official capacity would require clearances from the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), Ministry of Home Affairs, Finance Ministry, and the Central Administrative Ministry. It issued another order on March 30, 1995, reiterating the same.
The Secretariat circulated another order on September 3, 2004, modifying the provisions to the extent that the final orders were to be issued by the Finance Ministry. The following directive dated November 2, 2004, stipulated that Chief Ministers required further approval from the Prime Minister’s Office before an official visit. On August 26, 2010, another office memorandum made political clearances mandatory before private visits of Ministers in State governments, reiterated through an order on May 6, 2015.
The petition seeks a quashing of the 2010 and 2015 office memoranda which requires State government Ministers to ask for political clearances for personal visits abroad.
Foreign Travel by Chief Ministers and Ministers of the State Government:
(a) The Cabinet Secretariat and the Ministry of External Affairs should be kept informed of the proposed foreign visit, either official or private, of Chief Ministers and Ministers in the State Government/Union Territories. However, prior political·and FCRA clearances are mandatory.
(b) Further, while granting political. clearance, Ministry of External Affairs will also stipulate that they would be kept informed of the visit(s) when the same is actually made."
Conclusion :
The proposal relating to visits abroad of Central Ministers (Cabinet Ministers, Ministers of State holding independent charge, Minister of State of Deputy Ministers) and the chief minister require prior approval of the Prime Minister. Such proposals should be submitted to the Prime Minister directly after obtaining political clearance from the Ministry of External Affairs.

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