The Government on Friday called for strict adherence to the Expenditure Management measures outlined in the Appropriation Bill-2018.
Drawing the attention of the Administrative Secretaries to the Jammu and Kashmir Appropriation (No:02) Act-2018, notified in the Government Gazette on 6 February 2018, followed by Government Order No: 54-F of 2018, the Finance Department made it clear that the measures outlined in the said Bill shall have to be implemented in letter and spirit to ensure time-bound public expenditure.
“All directions contained in the Appropriation Bill-2018 being law, any violation thereof will be treated as a violation of the law with appropriate consequences,” said a circular issued by the Principal Secretary Finance, Navin K Choudhary.
Pertinently, J&K Government factored in wide-ranging Expenditure Reforms in the Appropriation Bill-2018, which was passed by the state legislature during the last Budget Session.
According to the Principal Secretary Finance, by incorporating fastened Expenditure Management Measures in the Appropriation Bill-2018, the government made itself legally bound to ensure time-bound public expenditure, avoid delays in execution of development works and reduce pilferages.
Enumerating on the Expenditure Reforms factored in the Appropriation Bill-2018, Choudhary said the Finance and the Planning, Development and Monitoring Developments are now bound to release both Revenue and Capital budget to all the administrative departments within two weeks of the passage of the Appropriation Bill.
He said the administrative departments, in turn, are bound to release funds to the subordinate offices within four weeks of their receipt, failing which these funds shall be deemed to have been transferred to the intended DDOs on the dates they ought to have been released by the administrative departments /Controlling Officers.
“Planning Development and Monitoring Department shall ensure that all plan allocations to be made bear proper classification, indicating, name of the work/scheme against detailed Head-115 Works,” he said and added that in the absence of the schematic classification, the relevant Capex release shall be deemed as invalid and not open to operationalization.
Choudhary said no payments shall be made by any Treasury/PAO, under any expenditure head, if the releases for the same have not been made and further received by the spending and bill passing Officers via BEAMS. “Treasury Officers/PAOs shall be personally liable for making payments on the funds released and received bypassing the BEAMS application,” he said.
The Principal Secretary Finance said the Planning, Development and Monitoring Department have to mandatorily upload on its website the department-wise “Name of the Schemes/Works/Projects”, forming part of the Capex budget for fiscal 2018-19, along with the respective allocations.
He said the procurement plans of the departments have been limited by an outermost cap of 60 days, starting 1st April of every year. “From conceiving the nature and quantity of public goods and services to be procured to preparing tenders/RFQs/EoIs to finally awarding the contract, the departments shall compulsorily finish the whole process by 30 May every year,” he said and added that any spill-over in timelines shall be automatically visited with the appropriate disciplinary actions.
He said the funds shall be spent only on the approved items of the expenditure and strictly for the purpose they have been released. “There shall be no re-appropriation of funds except where the departments have spent 55% of funds received ending December,” he said and added that however, where their spending levels are below 55%, the remaining 70% funds shall lapse to the Government.
He said the expenditure during the last quarter shall be restricted to not more than 30% of the Revised Estimates. “Treasury officers shall have an added responsibility to ensure that the departments are held responsible to the above expenditure ceiling,” he said.