THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: In an attempt to maintain fiscal discipline amid the grim financial scenario of the state, the department has asked the departments not to seek additional funds for ongoing projects. Instead, the departments have been asked to find and re-appropriate funds from the allocated funds for other schemes with lesser priority.

In a circular issued to all the departments heads last week, principal secretary (finance) Manoj Joshi has asked the departments to explore and locate funds from other projects for which already allocation has been made, but are of lesser priority, and re-appropriate such funds for the urgent projects coming up in the course of the financial year. “The departments should not seek additional authorization in a routine manner for additional funds for existing or new schemes. If the departments require additional funds in an existing scheme or in a new scheme, the department concerned should identify savings from some other heads of the department for re-appropriation,” the instructions said.

The departments have also been told that requests for additional funds for central government-assisted projects will be considered only if such assistance is credited to the state government’s account by the Centre or there are balance funds remaining under the particular head for utilization. A practice is in force that when the departments seek additional funds for centrally-assisted schemes, the government would release it in the anticipation that it can be replaced later after receiving additional funds from the Centre.

The circular also said that the implementation of court decrees or such inevitable commitments will be considered for authorization of additional funds only if there is no scope for locating savings to provide funds by way of reappropriation.

Meanwhile, the finance department has also begun the preparations for finalizing the budget for the next financial year. It has asked all the departments to take immediate steps for the formulation of the budget estimates for 2019-2020, that will be presented in the legislature in the last quarter of the ongoing financial year.

The departments have been instructed that the revised estimates for budget allocations of current financial year should be prepared realistically, instead of repeating the previous year’s budget figures in a routine way.

The revised estimates should be prepared only by considering the progress of expenditure during the first four months of the financial year, the expenditure likely to be incurred during the remaining months of the financial year, the re-appropriation or resumption of funds already made or proposed to be made and the new schemes that are sanctioned during the course of the financial year.
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