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President Directs Officials to travel Economy Class for official travel abroad amidst the current economic crisis

In a bid to maximize the use of government funds and ensure that resources are utilized efficiently, President’s Secretary Mr. Saman Ekanayake has issued a directive on the instructions of President Ranil Wickremesinghe, requiring officials purchasing airline tickets for official travel abroad to book Economy Class tickets.

This directive will take effect from March 1, 2023, and replaces all previous circulars and instructions related to this matter.

According to the new directive, officials such as the Hon. Chief Justice, Hon. Justices of the Supreme Court, Chairman of the Court of Appeal, and Hon. Justices of the Court of Appeal are exempt from booking Economy Class tickets. However, if an officer needs to travel Business Class, they may do so at their own expense, paying the difference between an Economy and Business Class ticket. The directive also states that exceptions to this rule require prior approval, based on sufficient justification.

The President’s directive aims to ensure that government funds are used only for essential purposes and that resources are utilized efficiently. By limiting the use of Business Class tickets, the government can save a significant amount of money while still enabling officials to travel for official purposes.

All relevant agencies and organizations under the purview of the directive, including Heads of Provincial Ministries, Departments, State Corporations, and Statutory Organizations, have been instructed to comply with the new provisions. Officials are also advised to seek prior approval if they believe they have a sufficient justification for an exception to the rule.

This directive comes amidst the current economic and financial challenges facing the country, and it is expected to help alleviate some of the pressure on government funds. It is hoped that by implementing this directive, the government can achieve its goals of financial prudence and efficient resource utilization.

President’s Media Division (PMD)

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