BHUBANESWAR: With the COVID-19 pandemic forcing Odisha to incur huge expenditure on health infrastructure, the State Government has asked all departments to prioritise spending within available resources. As decided, no expenditure relating to the Central Sector Schemes and Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSS) can be made without receipt of Central share. The spending in respect of these schemes will be made against the availability of Central assistance during 2020-21.
Taking into consideration the uncertainties in the flow of assistance from the Centre in respect of Central schemes in the wake of coronavirus outbreak, it has been decided that all expenditure relating to the schemes is to be made only after receipt of Central share. Principal Secretary of Finance Ashok KK Meena said earlier the departments were allowed to spend from State funds for Central schemes instead of waiting for the share for smooth management of programmes and to ensure timely completion of projects.
“Since there is no clarity on the flow of funds, the departments have been advised to incur expenditure on the schemes only after receipt of Central share. Several other states have also adopted the same strategy to tide over the crisis,” he said.
In case of urgent necessity for release of funds for continuing the schemes in anticipation of receipt of Central assistance, the administrative departments will have to obtain prior concurrence of the budget and expenditure branch concerned of the Finance department.
Meanwhile, the operation of Cash Management System (CMS) involving 20 key spending departments for the current fiscal has been put on hold until further orders. New limits have been set for administrative departments, excluding Revenue and Disaster Management, and Health and Family Welfare for obvious reasons. They can now only sanction up to Rs 15 crore at a time for administrative expenditures and transfers to State and Rs 30 crore for programme expenditure.
However, the departments have been allowed to incur expenditure to the extent of 50 per cent of provision made in budget estimate for this fiscal or 50 per cent of the annual allocation made by the Union Ministries concerned whichever is less during the first two quarters of the financial year pending receipt of Central assistance. In case of continuing schemes, the departments have been allowed to incur expenditure on the salary component in anticipation of receipt of Central assistance up to December 31 without concurrence of Finance.