To streamline departmental spending in order to accelerate the pace of development works in the state, the Jammu and Kashmir government on Monday told all its department heads that all unutilised funds above 30 per cent of their respective budgetary allocation would get automatically forfeited after December 31.
“Expenditure during the last quarter of the financial year 2017-18 shall be limited to 30 per cent of the budget allocation on both the revenue and capex side,” said an order issued by the finance department. “The unutilised funds over and above 30 per cent of their respective budgetary allocation will not be allowed to be used for any other purpose,” it added.
The order pointed out that there was no reason for not ensuring a balanced pace of expenditure by all the departments as funds by both the finance and planning departments were released on time in February. “For the month of March 2018, the expenditure shall not be more than 15 per cent of the budget estimates,” it said.
The Mehbooba Mufti-led government said that it would consider re-appropriation and re-distribution of funds to the departments only if savings were to be utilised for liabilities of authorised pending works and salary shortfalls. Payments in the last month would be made only for already procured goods and services, it added.
The finance department also asked the administrative departments not to make any advance payments, except to contractors under terms of duly executed contracts, loans to government servants or to private individuals as a measure of relief and rehabilitation as per service conditions or on compassionate grounds.
Pointing out that the rush of expenditure should be avoided during the last month of the year, which results in infructuous or wasteful spending, it advised the Finance Director and financial advisers to especially monitor this aspect in their respective departments. “Proposals of advance withdrawal, revalidation, authorisation pertaining to 2017-18 will have to be submitted to the finance department before February 28, 2018,” the circular said.
The government also asked the departments not to entertain and process proposals for parking of money in civil deposits to avoid lapsing of funds. It also pointed out that that issuance of Hundies, a type of credit transaction, was banned and should not be entertained. “The treasury offices will not entertain any bill/cheque for payment after March 29, 2018, pertaining to the current financial year,” the order said, advising all the drawing and disbursing officers to plan presentation of their bill accordingly. “On March 30 and 31, only payments will be made and accounts reconciled,” it mentioned.
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