There will be no Diwali gifts for officials as the Finance Ministry has advised public sector banks and insurance companies to refrain from doling out freebies.
“We have issued an advisory to heads of the banks and similar advisory has been issued to insurance companies as well,” sources said.
The advisory comes in the backdrop of austerity being observed by the new government.
It had been a usual practice for PSU banks and insurance companies to give expensive gifts during the festive season to officials as part of the their PR exercise.
According to a senior state-owned bank official: “giving gift is a normal practice. It is not only given by us but corporates in a big way.”
“This is kind of informal dividend given to our owner during the festive season,” the official added.
Taking exception to such practices, the Modi government is reportedly against freebies.
It is also rumoured that a minister was pulled up by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for distributing gifts.