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Advance Deadlines Put Assam Government Departments In A Fix

Kati Bihu

GUWAHATI: Many Assam Government departments are in a fix following the latest move of the Finance department proposing the deadlines for submission of schemes to avail funds earmarked in the State Budget for the current fiscal year.

The move aimed at releasing funds for various schemes before the announcement of Lok Sabha polls by the Election Commission of India has made many departments completely clueless as for how to submit their schemes to the Finance department within the new stipulated deadlines. Many departments have not even framed guidelines for submission of schemes.

Principal Secretary to Finance department Samir Kumar Sinha in a communiqué sent to all government departments on December 13, stated that once the Lok Sabha elections, 2019 is announced, model code of conduct will come into force and as a result the departments will be constrained to issue administrative approval and work order etc. against various projects. It is expected that the Election Commission will announce the dates of Lok Sabha polls in February or by the first week of March.

Sinha through his communiqué stated that in the interest of speedier and effective utilization of the Budget the departments will have to follow January 31, 2019 as the last date of receipt of concurrence of proposals in the Finance department. On other hand February 15, 2019 will be the last date of submission of ceiling proposals in the Finance department. The communiqué clearly stated that there will be no extension of the deadlines under any circumstance. Normally financial transactions for budget proposals continue till March 31 every year.

The Finance department latest instruction has caught the department off guard. Sources said it is doubtful as how many departments will be able to meet the advanced deadlines.

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