Government Withdraws Covid-19 Linked Expenditure Restrictions

The Finance Ministry on Friday withdrew expenditure restrictions on various departments and ministries imposed in June in the wake of the second wave of COVID-19

The Finance Ministry on Friday withdrew expenditure restrictions on various departments and ministries imposed in June in the wake of the second wave of COVID-19, reflecting development in public finances and the perseverance to step up growth in healthcare.

With immediate effect the expenditure restrictions are being withdrawn following a review of the guidelines, an office memorandum issued by the Economic Affairs Department of the Finance Ministry said.

As per the office memorandum, the guidelines released on June 30 regarding regulating the overall expenditure within 20 per cent of the Budget Estimate (BE) in the second quarter (July-September, 2021) have been reviewed.

The guidelines “stand withdrawn with immediate effect,” it said.

Accordingly, it said, all ministries and departments are now permitted to spend as per their own approved monthly expenditure plan or quarterly expenditure plan (MEP/QEP) until further orders during the remaining part of this financial year.

Items of giant expenditure of over Rs 200 crore are getting to be governed by the principles issued by the Budget Division under the Department of Economic Affairs dated August 21, 2017, it added.

These directions are issued with the approval of the competent authority.

“Any deviation from these guidelines would require prior approval of Ministry of Finance. Any communication by ministries/departments on the subject cited above should be addressed to the Secretary, Department of Expenditure,” the memorandum said.

The Finance Ministry earlier in June, had urged various ministries and departments to restrict expenses to a maximum of 20 per cent of their annual budgetary allocation within the September quarter as a neighborhood of austerity measures amid the coronavirus pandemic.

However, the restrictions on expenditure for the second quarter (July-September period) of the present fiscal weren’t applicable for select ministries and departments, including health, agriculture, fertilisers, pharmaceuticals and food

Accordingly, it said, all ministries and departments are now permitted to spend as per their own approved monthly expenditure plan or quarterly expenditure plan (MEP/QEP) until further orders during the remaining part of this financial year.

Items of giant expenditure of over Rs 200 crore are getting to be governed by the principles issued by the Budget Division under the Department of Economic Affairs dated August 21, 2017, it added.

These directions are issued with the approval of the competent authority.

“Any deviation from these guidelines would require prior approval of Ministry of Finance. Any communication by ministries/departments on the subject cited above should be addressed to the Secretary, Department of Expenditure,” the memorandum said.

Earlier in June, the Finance Ministry had asked various ministries and departments to limit expenses to a maximum of 20 per cent of their annual budgetary allocation within the September quarter as a neighborhood of austerity measures amid the coronavirus pandemic.

However, the restrictions on expenditure for the second quarter (July-September period) of the present fiscal weren’t applicable for select ministries and departments, including health, agriculture, fertilisers, pharmaceuticals and food.

Facebook Comments