Manipur implements budgetary ceilings as fresh measure to control expenditure

The amount to be incurred on meeting recurring expenditure is likely to see an increase during the current fiscal, the Manipur finance department said.

The Manipur finance department on Thursday implemented budgetary ceilings in all budgetary heads for fiscal 2020-2021 to control state expenses amid unabatedCOVID-19 spread..The fresh economy measures came barely a month after the government decided to cut down on non-essential expenditure on September 25. 

According to an office memorandum issued by the finance department, the COVID-19 pandemic has seriously impacted the resource availability of the state government. As such, the transfers from the Government of India and receipts from the state’s resources are likely to see a sizeable reduction vis-à-vis the previous financial years.

Moreover, it pointed out that the amount to be incurred on meeting recurring expenditure is likely to see an increase during the current fiscal due to certain commitments made by the government, including unavoidable expenditure on COVID-19 related activities.

Given the circumstances, the department pointed out that it has become necessary to cut down expenditure to ensure that scarce resources are made available for meeting critical and committed expenditure of the state.

The memorandum stated that ceilings of expenditure will be fixed under the Object Head Codes across all Budgetary Heads of all Demand numbers as 12- Foreign Travel Expenses (40 per cent), 13- Office Expenses (60 per cent), 16- Publications (40 per cent), 21- Supplies and Materials (50 per cent), 25- Clothing and Tentage (40 per cent), 26- Advertising and Publicity (50 per cent), 27- Minor Works (40 per cent), 35- Grants for creation of capital assets (50 per cent), 36- Grants-in-aid (Non -salary) (50 per cent), 50-Other Charges (40 per cent), 51- Motor Vehicle (50 per cent), 52- Machinery and equipment (40 percent) and 53- Major Works (50 per cent). 

However, the department stated that the above object head-wise ceilings shall not apply to centrally sponsored schemes, CPS/ EAP/ NEC/ NLCPR/ NESIDS funds, NABARD loan and other grants from the centre which are authorised as per actual receipts, as well as funds specifically earmarked for State Marching Shares, all ‘Charged’ expenditure, repayment of principal and interest of loans availed by the state government, security related expenditure, COVID-19 related expenditure, expenditure under Demand No. 1- State Legislature (excluding Foreign Travel) and other expenditure deemed necessary. 

In addition to the budgetary ceilings, the finance department has also imposed additional restrictions in ceilings in certain expenditure head-of-accounts of all departments, where expenditure is likely to be limited due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Modified Budgetary Provisions, after the above ceilings have been imposed, will be circulated to all departments, it said.

Thursday’s office memorandum also directed that the Administrative Secretary and Head of Department shall be responsible for ensuring compliance of the measures outlined above. Drawing and Disbursing Officer (DDO) and Finance Officers posted in the Departments shall also ensure that aforementioned ceilings are strictly adhered to whenever any proposals are referred to the Finance Department.

Treasury and Sub-Treasury Officers shall also check that the bills forwarded by Departments for encashment are not in contravention of the restrictions outlined above, it added. 

On September 25, the state as an austerity measure had to cut down on as many as 14 categories of non-essential expenditure after the state's economy was hit hard by COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to this, the state had put on hold all on-going recruitment processes except those already started with the approval of the cabinet.

The ban on recruitment, on direct, part-time, contract, ad-hoc, substitute and casual basis continued and there has been no further creation of posts and filling up of vacant posts, except by promotion.

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First Published:Oct. 22, 2020, 10:23 p.m.

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