"No officer should undertake more than four official visits abroad in a calendar year. For visits exceeding four by an officer, detailed justification would need to be furnished and such visits would be allowed only in exceptional cases depending on functional need," said an office order.
The order further stipulates that travel expenses for officials for participating in conferences, study tours and presentation of papers should be borne by the sponsors.
"Proposals for participation in conferences/seminars/ conventions/workshop/study tours abroad at government cost will not be entertained except those that are fully funded by sponsoring/inviting organisations which may be considered keeping in mind the public interest and the government business at home," the order said.
It said that the size of the delegation and the duration of the visit should be kept at "absolute minimum".
Regarding the foreign visits by secretary-level officers, it said they should not go abroad unless their presence is esse-ntial and the officers of the level of additional secretary or joint secretary cannot be substituted for them.