3-tier mechanism for local fund use in colleges

HED forms panels for better management of financial resources
Female students entering the premises of Srinagar's Women's College as Government Degree Colleges re-opened for offline classes, on Tuesday 15 February 2022. [Representational Image]
Female students entering the premises of Srinagar's Women's College as Government Degree Colleges re-opened for offline classes, on Tuesday 15 February 2022. [Representational Image]File: Aman Farooq/ GK

The J&K Government has set up a new three-tier mechanism for utilisation of local funds by Government Degree Colleges (GDCs).

The move comes as part of the revised guidelines of the Higher Education Department (HED) for utilization and incurring the expenditure from the College Local Funds.

As per the fresh order issued by the Principal Secretary HED, Rohit Kansal the new guidelines will be called "Jammu and Kashmir Utilization of Local Fund guidelines 2022.”

As per the new guidelines, all the payments other than college tuition fees paid by the students of the colleges at the time of admission and receipts from any source as per guidelines issued by the Higher Education Department will be determined as the fund.

As per the revised guidelines, there will be three committees at different levels which shall be authorized to sanction the utilization of amount from the local funds on the request of the concerned Principals on case to case basis.

The College Development Committee (CDC) will be headed by the Principal of the College as its chairman while the concerned treasury officer or his representative and a senior most faculty members of the College out of which one should be a woman faculty member, will be the members of the committee.

“The senior most accountant or accounts assistant of the College shall be a permanent invitee to the committee provided that only the senior most permanent faculty members will be nominated,” the order reads. The women faculty member to be nominated should be also be the senior most permanent women faculty member, the order reads.

“In case sufficient faculty members/women are not available in a college, the same shall be nominated from a nearby college by the Nodal Principal,” it reads.

Meanwhile, the Divisional Level Committee (DLC) will be headed by concerned Nodal Principals Jammu and Kashmir division as its Chairmen while any two Principals to be nominated by Director Colleges, Principal of the concerned College and Chief Accounts Officer (CAO) of any University to be nominated by Administrative Department will be its members.

“The senior most accounts personnel (Member) be of the Nodal College shall a permanent invitee to the committee,” the order reads.

The Directorate or UT Level Empowered Committee (DLEC) will be headed by the director colleges as its chairman while the concerned Nodal Principals of Jammu and Kashmir division, any two senior Principals of the UT and CAO of any University to be nominated by Administrative Department, additional secretary, Deputy Director or Assistant Director, Planning, HED will be the members of the committee.

“The Assistant Accounts officer of Higher Education Department shall be a permanent invitee to the committee,” the order reads. The committees shall examine the proposals and estimates submitted by the colleges and authorize the Principals on case to case basis after ascertaining the necessity and genuineness of the proposal as per the financial powers delegated to the committee.

The committee has been empowered in the light of the rules governing the use of Local funds as well as General Financial Rules (GFRs) and other instructions issued by the government from time to time including SO 58 issued by Finance Department on December 31 of 2019.

“All formalities including technical sanctions, vetting of estimates and administrative approvals must be rigorously followed. All works and procurements must be through strict e-tendering. All cases beyond the competence of the Directorate or UT Level empowered committee may be recommended to the Administrative Department for further necessary approvals,” the order reads.

As per the revised guidelines, the DLEC will be competent to authorize full expenditure out of available Local Fund of the Colleges in respect of the various object heads. The DLEC will be empowered to authorize payments of legitimately earned wages to the academic arrangement staff, guest faculty engaged in the colleges provided all due processes have been followed before their engagement and prior written approval of the competent authority has been obtained.

“It will be authorized for making the payment of legitimately earned wages to the outsourced staff engaged before the imposition of the ban on recruitment and after completing all the codal formalities,” it reads.

As peer the order, the total expenditure permitted out of Local Fund in a financial year in respect of any one college shall not exceed 25 percent % of the total Local Fund available with the college on the 1st day of the beginning of the said financial year.

“All financial guidelines and instructions of the finance departments be strictly adhered to while incurring expenditure out of the fund. Instructions of the finance department on outsourcing and all other instructions issued from time to time should be strictly followed,” the order reads.

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