All bills of the year should be presented before 4 p.m. today

In a bid to address the financial crisis, the Kerala government has decided to put stringent curbs on releasing payments from the treasury from Thursday.

The Director of Treasuries has issued a directive to all treasury officers asking them not to accept bills on the last four working days of the financial year.

This has been described as an effort to discourage huge withdrawals during the fag end of the financial year and also to avert the rush of bills to the treasuries, but it points to the intensity of the crisis.

It has also been specified that all bills, cheques and challans for the current financial year should be presented before 4 p.m. on Wednesday.

The director has also asked the treasury officers to issue directions to the drawing and disbursing officers to obtain clearance from the government for advance withdrawals in cases which do not conform to the directions of the circular.

A schedule was drawn up for restricting the payments right from the beginning of the month and it was tightened 10 days before the end of the financial year. Accordingly, the director had informed the treasury officials that advance bills that can be settled by the departments on March 20 alone should be presented for payment.

Prior clearance should be obtained from the Finance Department for the other bills much in advance. Officials were directed against accepting fund allotment letters after March 22.

Official sources told The Hindu here on Tuesday that a vast majority of the departments and local self-government institutions have not absorbed even 50 per cent of the Plan funds. All of them were planning to expend the remaining funds by March end.

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