As part of steps to boost its kitty amid reports of a cash crunch, Congress has asked its parliamentarians to ensure payment of their contributions to the party fund and has also issued strict austerity directives for its office-bearers.
Well-placed sources said AICC this week sent a reminder to its MPs in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha that they should make their annual payments regularly. What seems to have created a problem is that Congress has a large number of new members of Parliament who are not aware of their contribution obligations.
This has led to a big outstanding. Adding to the problem is the fact that the number of Congress MPs in both Houses has badly dwindled since the ouster of the UPA government from power in 2014.
According to the norms set on the basis of the Manmohan Singh committee on party funding, every MP has to make an annual payment of Rs 50,000 besides getting two sympathisers to contribute Rs 2,000 each.
The AICC has also sent out a set of austerity measures to party office-bearers on travel and lodging, while also asking its own staff to cut down on spending. In a bid to curtail travel expenditure, AICC secretaries, who are adjuncts to the general secretaries, have been asked to spend at least 15-20 days per month in the states they have been assigned to.
The states have been designated as their headquarters in place of the AICC.
Up to a distance of 1,400 km, AICC secretaries will have to travel by train. They can avail air travel for distances beyond 1,400km, and that too only for two times in a month.