Govt releases 100 pc Capex budget for 20 districts

Last quarter expenditure restricted to 30 pc

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Dec 6: The State Government today released 100 per cent District Capex Budget for the financial year 2018-19, 50 percent of which had already been authorized in favour of all the District Development Commissioners except Leh and Kargil, which have Autonomous Hill Development Councils.
The Finance Department has ordered release of the budget sector wise.
An official order to this effect has been issued by Principal Secretary to Government, Finance Department, Navin Kumar Choudhary.
“The released funds will be utilized only for the purpose specified after observing all codal formalities/procedure as required under the Rules and will not be available for further re-appropriation/diversion at any level and for any reason whatsoever,” the Finance Department order said.
The release of 100 percent Capex Budget laid down the condition that all District Development Commissioners will have to ensure that budget allocations were maintained strictly and budget announcements are accommodated. This will be in accordance with the Appropriation Bill passed earlier by the Legislature.
“All projects/schemes and infrastructure projects in particular must be supported by technically vetted Detailed Project Reports (DPRs) and prepared by the executing agencies in close consultation with the User Agency,” the Finance Department said.
It added that only those works will be authorized for execution, which have prior administrative approval, technical sanction and appropriate financial backup.
“All cost revisions must be sanctioned and approved by the Competent Authority,” it said.
While releasing the budget amount, the Finance Department directed the District Development Commissioners to immediately release the funds to the Line departments/executing agencies within a time period of 10 days beyond which it will be deemed to have been released.
The Finance Department reiterated that expenditure during last quarter of the financial year i.e. from January 1, 2019 to March 31, 2019, will be restricted to not more than 30 percent of the budget estimates.
However, it said, the authorization will not be utilized for the schemes/projects approved for funding through the JKIDFC under the scheme `Languishing Projects’ and these projects/schemes will be excluded from the Capex budget henceforth.
“The authorization will not be available to meet expenses for engagement of casual workers, need based workers etc by any Department,” the Finance Department said, adding that there will be no expenditure on Revenue or Revenue like items from the Capex Budget. It said the expenditure on this account will be debited to appropriate Head of Account.
It may be mentioned here that the Capex budget is released only to 20 out of 22 districts of the State. It is not released for Leh and Kargil districts, which have separate Autonomous Hill Development Councils.
Former Finance Minister Dr Haseeb Drabu had presented the budget proposals for 2018-19 in the Legislature in January this year comprising a revenue component of Rs 51,244.72 crore and capital component of Rs 44,422.24 crore.
Enumerating the fiscal reforms factored in the Appropriation Bill, Drabu had said the Finance and the Planning, Development and Monitoring Department (PDMD) would release both revenue and capital budget to all the departments within two weeks of the passage of the Appropriation bill.