The Governor’s Administration in J&K mulls enhancing financial powers of the Divisional and Deputy Commissioners given their increasing role in development administration.
This information was given at a meeting convened here today under the chairmanship of Principal Secretary Finance, Navin K Choudhary to review the working of the newly created Expenditure Management Cell and the measures taken by the Finance Department to improve the State’s fiscal health.
Secretary, Social Welfare, Dr Farooq Lone, Director General, Accounts and Treasuries, M Y Pandith, Director General Codes, Mohammad Rafi Andrabi, Director Budget, Imtiyaz Ahmad Mir, State Informatics Officer NIC, Joint Director Budget and Joint Director Resources from Finance Department, Members of Expenditure Management Cell, Incharge BEAMS and other officers of the allied departments were present at the meeting.
Principal Secretary Finance asked the Director General Codes to prepare a proposal for increasing the financial powers of the Divisional Commissioners and Deputy Commissioners to facilitate them to spend plan, non-plan, grant, grant in aid, etc funds. “One Accounts Officer and one Accounts Assistant shall be posted in each DC office by way of internal adjustment in the cadre,” he said and added that on the directions of Governor N N Vohra some untied grants are also being put at the disposal of Div Coms and DCs to meet fiscal emergencies.
Choudhary stressed the officers to use the data on expenditure for generating reports on the performance of various departments, “The data on expenditure provides a comprehensive financial outlook of the state. It will help in detecting cases of massive fluctuation and irregularities, and also in identifying parked funds. The objective of this exercise is to ensure productive expenditure,” he said.
“A slew of reform measures have been initiated by the Finance Department to refine the expenditure policy. This has improved the financial health of the state with J&K registering improvement in its ranking from 11 in2016 to 7 in 2018 among all the states in Fiscal Management,” he said.
The Principal Secretary called upon the officers to synchronize and streamline the process of Direct Benefit Transfer mode of payments which, he said, will help in curtailing pilferage of funds and ensure that the real beneficiaries of social welfare and other State and Centrally sponsored schemes get benefitted.
Choudhary also directed the officers to ensure that the codes of Drawal and Disbursal Officers (DDO) are not changed in cases where the designation of DDOs changes, “All DDOs should crosscheck their BEAMS codes with DDO codes and ensure that both are in harmony,” he said. He also asked the officers to organize special training programs on BEAMS and Treasury Net for the concerned officials of the Finance Department.