Curbs on treasury payments

Aim is to avert rushing of bills and heavy drawing during financial year end

: The government has imposed restrictions on treasury payments to avert rushing of bills and drawing heavy advances during the fag end of the financial year.

A circular issued by Finance Secretary, K.M. Abraham on March 14 said on presenting bills, cheques and chalans for encashment or adjustment during the closing phase of the financial year, treasury officers were unable to scrutinise them properly and complete the work in time. Banks and treasuries have been computerised and hence the banking transactions on March 31 should have to be completed by midnight.

Treasuries cannot be faulted for non-passing of bills presented after the prescribed time. Hence, final bills of all advances drawn this year should be settled on or before March 31. However, drawing of advances by departments and local governments cleared by any special or general order has been exempted from such restrictions.

Heads of departments and drawing and disbursing officers should present bills to the treasuries by 2 p.m. on March 27. Transactions on urgent claims to be made after this date should be completed by 10 p.m. on March 30 and reasons for the delay should be stated in the request for clearance.

Treasury officers have been warned against granting exemption to the circular without specific directions of the Finance Department. The circular said the practice of bunching expenditure in the final phase of a financial year had drawn the flak of the Comptroller and Auditor General too.

Official sources told The Hindu that there were complaints against the practice of local governments and also departments spending substantial sums during the last two weeks of the financial year in a ritualistic manner to show a high absorption rate. Local governments park huge sums as deposit in the name of government and quasi-government on the premise of executing major works and they seldom take off. Quite often, the deposits remain unspent in the accounts of the agencies. Bunching of expenditure is also deemed as a reflection of poor planning and execution of agencies.

Such restrictions may force local government and other departments to desist from the practice of indiscreet and unproductive spending modes, sources said.

Final bills of all advances to be settled before March 31

Officers should present bills by 2 p.m. on March 27

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Printable version | May 29, 2020 6:33:08 AM |

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