SAC approves transfer of expdt allocation powers to Finance Deptt

Governor Satya Pal Malik presiding over the SAC meeting in Srinagar on Tuesday.
Governor Satya Pal Malik presiding over the SAC meeting in Srinagar on Tuesday.

Commercial courts to be set up
Excelsior Correspondent
SRINAGAR, Sept 18: In a significant decision, the State Administrative Council (SAC), which met here this evening under the chairmanship of Governor Satya Pal Malik, approved transfer of expenditure allocation powers from the Planning to the Finance Department.
As per the decision, the expenditure functions including allocation of resources, authorization, releases, revalidation, re-appropriation etc which were earlier performed by the Planning, Development and Monitoring Department will be henceforth exercised by the Finance Department.
The SAC observed that the transfer of resource allocation powers to the Finance Department has become imperative given the overall change in the resource mobilization and allocation scenario both at the Centre and the State levels and also on the grounds of prudence and coherence.
Given the changed scenario, there is a strong case made out for immediate transfer of allocation of expenditure across the departments – both Revenue and Capex at one place i.e. in the Finance Department. This would not only bring coherence in budgetary allocations made to different departments but also ensure accountability for expenditure with a single controlling authority.
The decision would go a long way in ensuring harmonious resource allocation as the controlling authority allocating resources logically should also monitor the utilization of resources and fix accountability for the same. The allocation of resources at one place and monitoring at other was not proving to be effective.
Giving details, the Chief Secretary said, judicious use of manpower available in both Finance and Planning departments would be ensured through complete restructuring of the Finance Department to make best possible use of the otherwise, strong manpower base available in the Planning and Development Department.
He said in restructured format Finance Department will exercise administrative control over the functioning of Directorate of Accounts and Treasuries, Directorate of Establishment (Codes Division), Directorate of Institutional Finances and Resource, Revenue Division, Budget Division and Expenditure Division, while the Planning, Development & Monitoring Department shall look after the functioning of Monitoring Division, Planning Division, Economic and Statistics Division and Special Functions Division.
He said accordingly as per the new arrangement, Finance Department will be now looking after the functions including cadre controlling authority of J&K Accounts Service, Supervision and Management of all Treasuries and payments, all C&AG matters including Annual Audit Report and follow up, examination of all proposals for creation/abolition/ rationalization of posts across the department, review of all Rules and Regulations regarding service matters, all matters pertaining to regularization etc, opinion on all issues related to pay and allowances, study leave/Medical Rules etc, cadre controlling authority and service matters of J&K Economic and Statistics Services, all matters pertaining to resource generation through Financial Institutions, monitoring of fund flow under Centrally Sponsored Schemes, authorization to the departments and channelizing UCs, all matters pertaining to GST, Excise and other taxes, all personnel and policy matters pertaining to Commercial Taxes and Excise Department, Revenue Estimation for budget preparation as well as monthly monitoring of revenue collection, preparation of Annual Budget, Revised Estimates and its passage through legislature, timely release of budget, fixing norms for various components of the budget and revision thereof, issues related to additional requirement of funds, re-appropriation etc, monitoring of expenditure on regular basis through Expenditure Monitoring Cell, regular interaction with the line departments for speedy up of expenditure, controlling and eliminating wasteful expenditure, issuance of guidelines and procedures for efficient and norm-based expenditure.
On the other hand, the Planning, Development & Monitoring Department will be looking after monitoring of special projects like PMDP and other national programmes like Ayushman Bharat, Saubhagya and Ujjwala etc, regular reporting of expenditure under special plan and submission of UCs to the Central Line Ministries, sorting out bottlenecks which come in the way of speedy developmental expenditure, preparation of Vision document/ plan for various sectors on long term basis against which the allocations would be made on annual basis subject to availability of resources, preparation of Action Plan to improve key parameters in Health, Education, or other social sectors to improve quality of life, examination of various policy documents issued by the Central Line Ministries and adaptation of the same with revision as may be required to the State, collection of economic and statistical data and preparation of annual report thereof, providing key inputs for budget preparation, consultancy services – guidelines and help to the Departments, preparing penal for different types of consultancy and preparation of DPRs – Cell for vetting the same.
Planning Development & Monitoring Department will be the Cadre Controlling Authority of J&K Economics & Statistics Service for the time being.
A Committee comprising Principal Secretary, Finance as Chairman and Principal Secretary, PD&MD and Commissioner/Secretary, GAD as its Members, will recommend the deployment of PD&MD staff across the two Departments.
Meanwhile, the SAC accorded sanction to the enactment of the Jammu and Kashmir Commercial Courts Bill, 2008 to provide for constitution of Commercial Courts for adjudicating commercial disputes in a speedy and time bound manner; consequently, boosting commercial activities in the State. The bill also amends the Code of Civil Procedure Samvat 1977, for speedy trial in commercial disputes.
Initially, there will be two Commercial Courts, one each in Srinagar and Jammu.
The bill seeks to remove bottlenecks and bring down the time taken in resolution of commercial disputes and thus further improve J&K’s ranking in the Ease of Doing Business.
Advisors to Governor, B B Vyas, K Vijay Kumar and Khurshid Ahmad Ganai, Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam and Principal Secretary to the Governor, Umang Narula were present at the meeting.


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