In order to keep its overall expenditure within 20 per cent of the budget estimates in the first quarter of 2020-21, the Jammu and Kashmir government has asked all its departments to restrict their expenditure to only regular salaries of employees, including Children Education Allowance, from April to June.
“In view of the need to regulate expenditure due to situation arising out of Covid-19 and the lockdown, the departments are required to restrict the overall expenditure within 20 per cent of the budget estimates, 2020-21 in Quarter I (April-June 2020),” read a circular issued by Financial Commissioner Finance Department, Dr Arun Kumar Mehta.
It also asked all the departments not to make payment in respect of arrears of salary, LTC, leave encashment etc., for the period April-June, 2020, without prior consent of the Finance Department.
The circular further directed the government departments not to withdraw transport allowance for employees who have not attended the office during the lockdown period, adding advance payment for medical treatment shall be made only in emergency cases. It also restricted the office expenses to “only committed liabilities which cannot be avoided”, adding that there shall be no expenditure on Redistributive Resources Transfers (RRT), publication and other charges. However, in exceptional cases, the file can be sent to the Finance Department, it added.
Pointing out that expenditure on outsourced manpower/wages should not exceed one-fourth of the budget in the first quarter, it said that “expenditure on other non-salary heads including minor works, GIA may not be incurred without the prior consent of Finance Department.”
“In case of Capex/Plan Budget, expenditure on essential activities can be initiated after the formulation of plan and uploading of workwise activity on the BEAMS with prior approval of the Finance Department,” the circular added.
The Parliament had approved the highest-ever budget of over Rs 1 lakh crore, including developmental expenditure of Rs 38,764 crore, for the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir last month. The approved budget is 27 per cent higher than the 2019-20 budget, which was Rs 88,911 crore.
The Jammu and Kashmir government’s Finance Department had in consultation with National Informatics Centre last year developed an “electronic payment framework” for simpler and faster transactions, as also to check duplication of payments and incorrect expenditure. Since then, all the government treasuries have been making payments through this IT enabled electronic payment framework.
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