Govt releases 50% district Capex Budget

Govt releases 50% district Capex Budget
Representational Pic

Jammu, June 28: The J&K government on Monday sanctioned the release of 50 percent budget under District Capital Expenditure (Capex) 2021-22 in favour of all District Development Commissioners.

The release under district budget out of approved Budgetary Estimates (BE) has been made in respect of regular Union Territory (UT) component, DDC, BDC and PRI grants.

As per an order of the Finance department issued by the Financial Commissioner A K Mehta, who is also the Chief Secretary of J&K, the funds under Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSSs), loan component (NABARD) and its matching UT share will be provided separately through respective line departments.

The utilization of funds, however, would be subject to some terms and conditions, the order said.

Earlier on June 16, the Lieutenant Governor Manoj Kumar Sinha had approved Rs 12,600 District Capex budget, which was more than double of the previous year’s budget of Rs 5134.40 Cr for “equitable development of J&K with active involvement of Panchayats, BDCs and DDCs.”

“In furtherance to Government Order No. 121- F of 2021 dated 01-04-2021, sanction is hereby accorded to the release of 50 percent budget under District Capex 2021-22... The utilization of funds, however, shall be subject to some terms and conditions. The main focus of the expenditure must be on outcome in terms of benefit to the public,” read the order while referring to the Jammu and Kashmir Appropriation (No.2) Act, 2021.

As per the order, with regard to the terms and conditions of utilization, “In terms of Rule-136 (1) of GFR 2017, no works shall be commenced or liability incurred in connection with it until administrative approval has been obtained from the appropriate authority in each case. Sanction to incur expenditure has been obtained from the competent authority. A properly detailed design has been sanctioned; while designing the projects etc, principles of life cycle cost may also be considered.”

Besides, the estimates containing the detailed specifications and quantities of various items should have been prepared on the basis of the Schedule of Rates maintained by PWD or other Public Works Organisations and sanctioned.

“It is imperative that the funds to cover the charge during the year have been provided by competent authority. Tenders have been invited and processed in accordance with rules and a work order has been issued,” the order specified.

It further stated that each work should be 100 percent physically verified and third party test inspections should be conducted in respect of high value works. The photographs with Geo-tagging should be made available for uploading and record and the e-tenders should be invited for the entire project cost.

As per the order, the DDCs would ensure that the exercise of e-tendering was carried out in a time bound manner and all the tendering processes ensured as per GFR.

“The executing agency shall ensure that the component of "land compensation" must form the part of the technically vetted DPRs and funds for the said component shall be released as part of the project work. The DDCs shall immediately release the funds to the Sectoral Officers within a period of one week from the date of authorization of funds by the Finance department. The BEAMS administrator shall report compliance to the Finance Department on a monthly basis. The expenditure shall be made strictly in accordance with GFR 2017 and Manual for Procurement of Works, 2019,” the order added.

The order said that all the procurements of Goods and Services would be made through GeM portal in terms of relevant provisions of GFR 2017, Manual for Procurement of Goods 2017 and Manual for Procurement of Consultancy and other Services. No diversion would be made under any pretext unless expressly authorized by the Finance department.

“All the DDCs shall monitor the expenditure statements on BEAMS and furnish the same before 5th of following month for monthly review by the Finance department. All the government transactions shall be made through electronic mode without involving any cash transactions in the government offices or other offices which are directly or indirectly controlled by the government, excepting for few small denominations. All the DDCs shall ensure that the expenditure out of allotted funds are made in stipulated time frame within the quarter(s) for which the funds have been released,” it added.

Further specifying the terms and conditions of utilization, the order said that all the DDCs would ensure uniform pace of expenditure during the financial year 2021-22. The overall ceiling of 30 percent expenditure would be maintained during the last quarter of the financial year 2021-22. The expenditure during the last month of the financial year 2021-22 would be restricted to 15 percent of the budget allocation.

“The execution of works shall be taken up strictly for the approved activities only within the approved cost and no liability shall be created ensuring financial discipline in the system. The controlling officers shall be personally responsible for any liability created on account of un-approved and un-authorized works. The ban on engagement on casual workers, need based workers, daily wagers, etc. shall continue to be in force,” the order said.

In yet another significant condition, the order mentioned that all development/Capex release orders issued by DDCs to the respective Sectoral Officers should invariably have the condition that the departments would refrain from making fresh engagements under projects/schemes.

The capital outlay would not be used for revenue expenditure and the funds would not be utilized for the schemes/projects approved for funding through JKIDFC under languishing project scheme and these projects/ schemes would stand deemed to be excluded from UT Capex budget, it was maintained in the order. Executing agencies would comply with the standing guidelines, instructions or restrictions regarding Covid-19 pandemic in the UT of J&K during execution of works, the order read.

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