In a move aimed at increasing the financial autonomy of the departments,the state finance department has issued a circular asking all departments to appoint a financial adviser who will give administrative approval for projects that cost upto Rs 10 crore within the budgetary allocation.
Once the system is introduced,files regarding administrative approval for schemes under planned expenditure will,therefore,not be have to be sent to the finance department for approval. The system will come to effect from 1 June.
Officials say the circular – issued to kick off financial reforms in the government- will remove bottlenecks in getting administrative approval of the finance department which has earned a bad reputation for unnecessarily holding important files indefinitely.
The new system requires that all proposals for expenditure on schemes/projects are subjected to detailed financial scrutiny by the financial adviser of the administrative department instead of being sent to the finance department, the circular reads.
The financial advisers will be responsible for rendering advice to the to the concerned departments top officials on all financial matters including procurement proposals which would otherwise have required concurrence of the finance department. Besides,the adviser will screen all expenditure proposals requiring to be referred to the finance department for concurrence or comments and to ensure maintenance of accounts of expenditure against grants or appropriation. Also,the advisers will have to watch and review the progress of expenditure against sanctioned grants and to screen the proposals for supplementary demands for grants. The financial advisers will also monitor non-tax revenue receipts,according to the circular.
In case of release of the state share of Centre-sponsored schemes/Centre-assisted schemes,the financial adviser will be competent to accord concurrence for release within budgetary provision provided that the Central share has been credited to the state exchequer or in the bank account of the implementing agency, the circular states regarding delegation of financial power rules.
The advisers,however,will not be authorised to accord concurrence of any new schemes and continuing schemes in which there are deviations from the existing norms and yardstick as approved by the finance department. They will not give approval to expenditure in case of externally-aided project,rural infrastructure development fund. The adviser will be an official of the rank of special or joint secretary who would be posted by the personnel and administrative reforms. The office of the financial adviser will have deputy financial adviser(s),accountant officer(s) and a group of employees.