Puducherry, Nov 19:
Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy Sunday issued a ‘standing order’ to all secretaries and heads of all departments not to abide by a circular issued by the Finance department of the territorial government on expenditure management.
Dubbing the “restriction” of delegation of powers to contingent and miscellaneous expendituresas “mischievous and grossly illegal,” Narayanasamy in his standing order said it was issued ‘without approval of the Chief Minister who is in-charge of the Finance portfolio.’ The official had stated in the circular that the ‘delegation or re-delegation of powers to subordinate authorities’ done according to the government order issued in December 2014 is dealing with contingent expenditure and miscellaneous expenditure only,’ he said.
The circular “nefariously omits other delegation of powers mentioned in the government order of December 2014 which covers re-delegation of powers of Lieutenant Governor to secretaries to government, heads of departments and offices for incurring non-Plan and Plan expenditure on schemes included in the approved budget of the departments,” he noted.
The circular “is therefore ultra vires and is totally “inconsistent” with the Delegation of Financial Power Rules 1978 and the contents of the government order issued in December 2014, he claimed.
It is, therefore, declared ‘null and void’, he added.
The territorial government follows the Centre’s approach of issuing expenditure sanction and grants under Rule 20 relating to grants, subsidies, contributions and scholarships and also relating to investments under Rule 19 of the Financial Power Rules as a ‘scheme’ with the approval of the Planning Board, he said.
The board is headed by the Lt Governor, the cabinet of Puducherry, Union Home Ministry and thereafter by the territorial Assembly.
The Chief Minister clarified that the procedure followed for delegation of powers prior to the Finance Secretary’s circular and also adopted by the Central government “shall continue to be followed in Puducherry government.”