Bhubaneswar: Odisha government Tuesday relaxed the financial austerity measures it had adhered to in view of the financial hardship arises due to Covid-19 pandemic lockdown.
In July, Government had adopted some expenditure rationalization measures in the wake of economic downturn due to the global pandemic Covid19 to ensure that new priorities like COVID response, agriculture sector, livelihoods etc. are well funded. So far, the Government has been successful in minimizing the impact of the COVID-19 on the state economy as well as realization of resources.
The State finance department on 1st December has came out with notification listing out the area where the expenditure rationalization measures would be taken up.
‘Relaxation in expenditure rationalization measures adopted in the wake of economic downturn due to the global pandemic Covid19’:
After initial shortfall in resources in the early part of the financial year due to shutdown/ lockdown, the resources are now looking up due to partial recovery in the State economy, some innovation in mobilization of resources and consistent monitoring. This has provided the State government with some fiscal space to enhance capital investment for revival of the economy and generation of livelihoods for the people.
In order to facilitate higher public spending within our resources, government has been pleased to relax some expenditure rationalization measures adopted vide Finance Department Letter no.20042/F dated 07/07/2020 as detailed below:
1.The July order reads :There shall be complete ban on purchase of new equipment except medical equipment and equipment required for internal security. However, equipment Equipment required for promoting digital communication can be procured within the delegated financial power without reference to finance department.
Now, equipments equired for promoting digital communication can now be procured with concurrence of finance department.
2.There was complete ban on sanction and drawl of new Long-term Advances (HBA, Motor Car Advance, Computer advance etc) and other advances.
However, now, if a part of the HBA out of the total sanctioned amount is drawn, the balance will be allowed to be drawn. Drawl of new Long-term Advances (HBA, Motor Car Advance, Computer advance etc) and other advances shall be allowed.
3. In July, the order was that expenditure out of the provision ‘Other Contingencies’ to be kept at the minimum level. Only expenditure relating to COVID management and other essential expenditure like purchase of office stationeries etc may be incurred. There shall be no expenditure on purchase of office furniture/ fixtures and furnishing. Expenditure out of the provision ‘Other Contingencies’ will be capped at 60% of the Budget Provision for the whole year.
Now, capping on expenditure out of the provision ‘Other Contingencies’ relaxed from 60% to 75% of the Budget Provision for the whole year.
4. Operation and Maintenance expenditure can be incurred only after approval of Annual Maintenance Plan (AMP) by finance department. Engineering departments to prepare their AMP for the year 2020-21 limiting it to a level of 60 % of the Budget provision, in consultation with finance department initially and on availability of resources balance work could start after November-2020.
Now, Capping on expenditure out of the provision ‘Operation and Maintenance expenditure’ will be relaxed from 60% to 75% of the Budget Provision for the whole year. Further relaxation shall be considered on availability of resources in the month of January -2020.
5. No tender of execution of works, procurement of goods and services is to be avoided. However, if it is necessary to meet any emergent public service, floating of new tender exceeding value of Rs.5 crore and procurement of goods and services exceeding value of Rs.25 lakh would require prior concurrence of Finance Department. For values less than indicated here, Administrative Department need to take approval of government before floating tender/ bid.
New tenders for execution of works for on-going schemes, procurement of goods and services may be floated keeping in view of the Budget provision without reference to Finance Department.The execution and financial power will be guided as per the codal provisions of OPWD, OGFR, DFPR and Forest code as applicable.