Finance Ministry directs departments to not initiate any new scheme, use resources prudently amid COVID-19 crisis
The Expenditure department announced that schemes that had already been approved for the current financial year will remain suspended till March 31, 2020.
The Union Ministry of Finance has asked all Ministries and Departments to not initiate any new scheme in the current fiscal year, stating that there is a need to use resources prudently in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.
The Department of Expenditure, which comes under the Finance Ministry, stated that there is an unprecedented demand of public financial resources amid COVID-19 pandemic and hence, the resources need to be used prudently in accordance with emerging and changing priorities.
The department stated that it has been receiving new proposals for in-principle approval from various ministries or departments. However, it directed that no new proposals for a scheme or sub-scheme should be initiated during this financial year from 2020-21 except the proposals announced under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package and Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan package or any other special package or announcement.
The department announced that schemes that had already been approved for the current financial year will remain suspended till March 31, 2020. These include the schemes for which in-principle approval has been given by the department.
Which schemes will continue?
The funds announced for schemes under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package, the Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan package and any other special package by the Finance Ministry will be allocated.
Regarding ongoing schemes, the department said that it has already given an interim extension till March 31, 2021, or till the date when the recommendations of the 15th Finance Commission will come into effect, whichever is earlier.
Further, the department stated that no funds will be released for schemes that are not in strict conformity to the instructions. No budgetary provisions will also be made available by re-appropriation to such schemes. It added saying that any exceptions to these guidelines would require the approval of the expenditure department.