The federal government has made it mandatory that all the payments from the federal budget for the current financial year 2021-22 would made through the pre-audit system of the Accountant General Pakistan Revenues (AGPR) and the assignment account procedure issued by the finance division.
According to the new ‘policy and strategy’ issued by the finance ministry, funds for the payment of salaries and pensions, current expenditures and development expenditures would be released on quarterly basses with 30% each in the first two quarters and 20% each in the remaining two quarters.
The ministry has informed all the ministries and divisions that the funds for all expenditures as well as development expenditure during the current financial year will be released under the new policy, according to the document, available with The Express Tribune.
The ministry further said that under the policy for fiscal year 2021-22 that took effect immediately, 30% funds for current expenditure and development expenditure would be released in the first quarter, another 30% in second quarter, 20% in the third quarter and 20% in the fourth quarter.
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The ministry made it clear that the new policy would not apply to payments under domestic and foreign agreements, as all the domestic and foreign payments would be made on a case-to-case basis. However, it added, these payments must be approved in advance by the finance secretary.
Furthermore, the ministry said that the single line budget providers would have to provide details of their annual budget, including details of expenses for the current financial year and the previous financial year and details of receipts.
All payments will be made through the AGPR’s pre-audit system and assignment account procedure issued by finance division, the document said, adding that direct payments could be made from the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) with the prior approval from the finance ministry.
For the supplementary and technical grants, the policy said the proposals would have to be sent through the budget wing of the Finance Division as per the proposed proforma. However, these proposals would be sent to the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet for approval.
For the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP), the ministry said that the new policy would also apply for funds releases. It said that 20% funds would be released in the first quarter, 30% each in the second and third quarters, and 20% in the fourth quarter.
However, in some cases, the funds could be released for the PSDP project in accordance with a special procedure issued by the finance ministry on the recommendation of the Planning Division in the second quarter of the current financial year after thorough scrutiny and examination.
The document further stated that no funds would be released for unapproved projects, Similarly, it stipulates no funds for the projects for which funds had not been released in the first two quarters. In that case, only 40% of the funds would be released during the remaining two quarters.
The policy also clarifies the procedure for the clearance of the cases. It said that such cases would be forwarded by the finance ministry or to the ministry or division concerned, along with letter of approval from the AGPR for release of funds. The planning and development division must also be informed.