Due to the resource crunch on account of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on Meghalaya’s economy and finances, the State government has ordered all departments to curtail avoidable and unproductive expenditure and to observe strict austerity in all areas of expenditure for the remaining part of the Finance Year 2020-21.
With a view to achieving this objective, the State government has ordered that no new posts should be created except if absolutely necessary with adequate justification and prior approval of Finance Department.
According to the latest directives of the Finance Department, the powers of all the departments to re-appropriate savings has been withdrawn except between ‘Object-head’ provided the same is approved by the Additional Chief Secretary, Principal Secretary or Commissioner & Secretary of the concerned department.
Departments have also been asked to seek prior concurrence of Finance Department for re-appropriation of savings from ‘Salaries’.
The Finance Department has also ordered that no new vehicle should be purchased even for replacement without specific prior approval of the Chief Secretary and Finance and Planning departments. It also said that purchase of new vehicle should not be made “except under extraordinary circumstances”.
Departmental officers have been directed to ensure proper use of pool vehicles. Further, log books have to be maintained, indicating the purpose of the journey and kilometers traveled to each trip.
All controlling officers have been asked to strictly ensure that expenditure should not exceed the budgetary provision.
The Finance Department has warned that controlling officers will be held directly accountable for any deviation of expenditure from the prescribed ceiling without prior authorization.
“Unauthorised expenditure over and above the budgetary provision will be dealt with severely and responsibility fixed,” it said.
Further, official tours have been strictly regulated. The Leave Travel Concession (LTC) facilities admissible to State government employees shall remain temporarily withdrawn until further orders.
However, LTC on the eve of retirement within one year of retirement will be allowed with prior approval of Finance Department. Leave encashment as been withdrawn temporarily.
The Finance Department has also ordered departments to exercise strict economy in purchase of new fixtures, furnishings, furniture, office equipments, electrical appliances. Departments have also been asked to stop purchase of new fixtures and furnishings solely because of change in the incumbent. All furnishing expenditure are to be made only with the approval of Finance Department.
All departments have also been directed to see that employment of casual labour should not exceed three months and only if it is really necessary, subject to the approval of Finance Department.
As far as publicity and publication, the order stated that except for Public Relations Department, no other department shall publish or print any dairies and calendars. Other publications, if necessary, can be made subject to approval of the heads of department and admissible limit under DFP Rules.
The Finance Department has also ordered that only essential maintenance of government buildings can be undertaken within prescribed limit for such works.
The Public Works Department (PWD), Public Health Engineering (PHE), Forests, Soil Conservation and Agriculture departments have been directed to ensure that their divisional officers do not exceed their respective powers in respect of stores under any circumstances. In the case of the PWD and PHE, purchases have to be made on the basis of funds available under LOC.
It was also directed that the meeting of the Purchase Boards of these departments should be held within December 31 and supply order should not be placed after January 31. The two dates are prescribed to ensure that all supplies required can be purchased and works can be allotted within the year and payment on this score is made within the financial year.