JAMMU: Governor N. N Vohra on Saturday sought Revised Estimates (2015-16) for Capital expenditure for his immediate approval so that the balance funds could be released to various identified departments for utilizing the available resources in the remaining two months of Financial Year 2015-16.
The Governor has already issued instruction to the State Administration for releasing the balance required funds for meeting the salaries and other revenue components by the Finance Department.
Reviewing the to-date status of preparation of Budget for Financial Year 2016-17 with top officials at Raj Bhavan, he asked the Chief Secretary and Finance Secretary to expedite the process of finalising the Budget for its timely approval and also keep the papers ready for securing a Vote on Account in case such contingency arises.
The Governor directed that the Budget (2016-17) be brought up on 1st March, 2016, for a final decision.
The PDP-BJP Government had fixed February 22 for presentation of the budget estimates in the Budget Session of the State Legislature, beginning February 18, which, however, had to be cancelled due to demise of Chief Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed on January 7. Since the State was brought under the Governor’s Rule on January 8, the chances of convening the session became remote as the coalition partners failed to reach an understanding and alliance to form the new government.
The Governor was informed that the Financial Commissioner, Planning and Development and Commissioner, Finance Department have held extensive discussions with all the Administrative Secretaries and Heads of Departments regarding the preparation of the Revised Estimates (2015-16) and Budget Estimates (2016-17). Also they have held joint reviews to complete the exercise for segregating the Revenue and Capital components of the Budget Estimates (2016-17), which requirement has arisen with the inception of the new regime after the Planning Commission was replaced by the NITI Aayog.
B.R. Sharma, Chief Secretary, P.K Tripathi, Principal Secretary to Governor, Navin K. Choudhary, Commissioner, Finance Department were prominent among those who briefed the Governor about the budget preparations.
Meanwhile, the Governor had issued instructions to the Finance Department to ensure no delays in the State Government employees who wish to make entitled withdrawals from their GPF accounts. With the payment of Rs. 125 crore on Saturday, there is no case of GP Fund claim pending in any treasury of the State.
Navin K. Choudhary, Finance Secretary apprised the Governor that approximately Rs. 2,500 crore have been paid to clear all liabilities on account of GPF, including the payout of Rs. 125 crore made on Saturday.
The Governor directed the Finance Secretary to ensure that the entire process of withdrawal of GP Fund should shift to the electronic mode so that employees could apply and draw their due amount online. Finance Secretary also apprised the Governor about the various steps underway to streamline the functioning of the Funds Department and the other wings of the Finance Department.
While complimenting the Finance Secretary the Governor hoped that the Finance Department will ensure against any delays or difficulties in regard to GPF drawals arising in the future.
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