Expenditure Reforms? Government withdraws financial powers of Administrative Departments
Srinagar:: Jammu Kashmir Government has reduced the yearly financial budget of every government department and has withdrawn all powers related to re-appropriation and re-distribution of funds vested in the Administrative Departments.
Finance Department has called it expenditure reforms; however the heads of government departments have started raising eyebrows as they think the new order of the government will badly affect every industry in Jammu and Kashmir.
Finance Department in its order vide number 310-F of 2017 has asked all the Heads of Departments (HoD’s), Drawing and Disbursing Officers (DDO’s) and Treasury Officers (TO’s) to adhere to all the directions in letter and spirit.
The order, a copy of which lies with Kashmir News Trust reads expenditure during the last quarter of the financial year 2017-18 shall be limited to 30 per cent budget allocation on both Revenue and Capex side.
“All the un-utilized funds over and above 30 per cent of the budgeted amount on both Revenue and Capex side as on 3Ist December 2017 shall be automatically forfeited and will not be allowed to be used for any other purposes while in the month of March 2018, the expenditure shall not be more than 15% of the Budget Estimates.”
The order further reads that all powers related to re-appropriation and re-distribution of funds vested in the Administrative Departments, HODS and DDOs have been withdrawn and any proposal for re-appropriation will be considered on merits in the Finance Department only in respect of savings to be utilized for authorized pending work done liabilities, salary shortfalls etc.
“Payments in the last month shall be made only for goods and services already procured. No amounts shall be released in advance except in the circumstances including advance payments to contractors under terms of duly executed contracts so that Government would not renege
on its legal or contractual obligations and any loans or advances to Government servants etc. or private individuals as a measure of relief and rehabilitation as per service conditions or on compassionate grounds and any other exceptional case with the approval of the Finance Department.
The Finance Department has directed all the HoD’s, DDC’s and TO’s that rush of expenditure on procurement should be avoided during the last month of the year so as to ensure that all procedures are complied with and there is no in fructuous or wasteful expenditure.
Director Finance/Financial Advisors are advised to specially monitor this aspect in their respective departments.
“Proposals of Advance Drawal, Revalidation, Authorization etc. if any, pertaining to Financial Year 2017-18 shall be submitted to the Finance Department well before 28Ih February, 2018. No such proposal shall be entertained by the Finance Department after 28th February, 2018,” reads the order.
The order further reads that: “proposals for parking of money in "Civil Deposits" in order to avoid lapsing of funds shall not be entertained and processed and issuance of Hundies stands already banned. The Departments are advised not to move any proposal in this regard.”
Treasury Offices will not entertain any bill/cheque for payment after working hours on 29 March 2018, pertaining to the Financial Year 2017-18 and all the DDOs are advised to plan their bill presentations accordingly at treasury.
The order further reads that under no circumstances, any Bill in respect of Financial Year 2017-18 will be received in the Treasuries on the last two working days of financial year i.e. 30th and 31%' March, 2018, the date on which only payments will be made and accounts reconciled.
“The order duly signed by Principal Secretary to Government Finance Department Navin Chowdhary reads that administrative secretaries must effectively supervise and shall be responsible for ensuring compliance of all these measures.