J&K Govt Announces Austerity Measures To Balance Expenditure

Civil Secretariat Srinagar | File Photo

Srinagar- The Jammu and Kashmir government on Monday announced a slew of measures in order to promote fiscal discipline in overall working of all departments and autonomous bodies funded by it.

In an order issued here, the administration said that the measures have been announced to ensure a balanced pace of expenditure without restricting the operational efficiency of the Government.

All the Government Departments and Autonomous Bodies funded by it have been ordered to adhere to the economy and austerity measures which among others include balanced pace of expenditure.

“During the last quarter of the current financial year the expenditure should be limited to 30% of budget allocation and in the month of March, the expenditure should be limited to 15% of the Budget Estimates,” reads the order.

In the last month of the current financial year, payments may be made only for the goods and services actually procured and for reimbursement of expenditure already incurred, it said.

“Hence, no amount should be released in advance (in the last month) with the exception that advance payments to contractors under terms of duly executed contracts so that Government would not renege on its legal or contractual obligations.

Among exceptions include 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.

The government said that rush of expenditure on procurement should be avoided during the last month of the current financial year so as to ensure that all procedures are complied with and there is no infructuous or wasteful expenditure.

“Director Finance(s)/Financial Advisor (s) are advised to specially monitor this aspect in their respective departments.”

The government also announced 10% economy cut on OE, LTC, Telephone, POL, Research & Survey and Hospitality & Sumptuary out of the Budget Estimates 2021-22.

“Utmost economy shall be observed in organizing Conferences/ Seminars/ Workshops. Only such conferences, workshops seminars, etc. which are absolutely necessary, should be held.”

Holding of exhibitions/ fairs/ seminars/ conferences outside J&K is strongly discouraged except in the case of exhibition for tourism/art & craft/investment promotion, the order reads further.

“There shall be complete ban on holding of meetings and conferences at private hotels. Government buildings/ Premises should be utilized for holding of meetings and conferences instead.”

There shall be complete ban on holding of official dinners and lunches, except those hosted by the Chief Secretary and Lieutenant Governor or with specific approval of the lieutenant governor, the order reads further.

The administration also imposed 10% economy cut on conduct of camps and seminars out of the Budget Estimates 2021-22

Regarding Purchase of vehicles, the government permitted new vehicles to be purchased only against condemnation as a replacement measure.

The government said that travel expenditure should be regulated so as to ensure that each Department remains within the allocated budget. “Re-appropriation/ augmentation proposals on this account will not be entertained. International travel shall not be allowed unless specific permission is granted by the Finance Department.”
Within the country, the officers should travel only by economy class regardless of entitlement, it said.

“Facility of Video Conferencing may be used effectively and travel for the purpose of attending meetings should be avoided to the extent possible.”

In all cases of air travel, the government said, the lowest air fare ticket available for entitled class shall be availed.

The government also ordered that no furniture shall be procured out of the available funds.

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