Excess expenditure over and above the limit of one-third of the provisions in the vote-on-account by the Public Financial Management System (PFMS) has forced the Finance ministry to defer the salaries of Group A and B employees in the Department of Expenditures for the month of June till provisions are made for them in the full Budget in July.
“It has been found that booking of excess expenditure over and above 1/3rd of the provision in Vote-on-Account by PFMS has resulted in paucity of funds. In order to keep the expenditure within the ceilings of Vote-on-Account, Secretary (Expenditure) has decided that expenditure for payment of salaries for June, 2019 of only Group ‘C’ employees posted in the office of CGA and office of PFMS be booked,” said an office memorandum of the Department of Expenditure of 17-18th June. The Controller General of Accounts (CGA) is part of the DoE.
“Payment of salaries in respect of Group A and B officers may be made after full Budget provisions are made available by Parliament”, the memorandum said.
On February 1, the Government sought Vote on Account for Rs 34.17 lakh crore expenditure for April-July 2019. Finance Minister Piyush Goyal had pegged an aggregate gross expenditure for 2019-20 at over Rs 97.43 lakh crore in the interim Budget and sought Parliament’s approval for meeting the expenditure, which is likely to be incurred during April to July 2019.
“Aggregate gross expenditure for 2019-20 is estimated at Rs 97,43,039.70 crore. Against this requirement, the amount asked for ‘on Account’, is Rs 34,17,295.38 crore,” said the Vote on Account 2019-20 tabled in Parliament.
As part of the Vote on Account, the government had sought Rs 65,366.83 crore for Department of Food and Public Distribution for meeting the food subsidy to FCI and others, state governments on decentralised food procurement under NFSA for the year 2019-20.
Vote on account is an interim permission to spend money as against a full Budget which is an elaborate financial statement of expenditure and receipts.
The Constitution says that no money can be withdrawn by the government from the Consolidated Fund of India except under appropriation made by law. Vote on account is the permission to withdraw money from the Consolidated Fund of India in that period, usually two months. An outgoing government presents only an interim Budget or seeks a vote on account. It leaves it to the next government to present the full Budget.
Former Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had launched the mandatory use of PFMS for all Central sector schemes to ensure that the benefits of the various government schemes reach the last mile.
FMS helps in complete tracking of funds but would also ensure just in time transfer of funds. It implemets Just-In-Time releases of Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) funds under the Central Sector schemes like MGNREGA, Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY), National Rural Drinking Water Mission , Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) among others.