In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the finance ministry has extended expenditure management measures across central government departments by another quarter.
“With a view to manage the cash flows of the government, it has been decided to retain and continue with the same expenditure management measures in October-December,” said an office memorandum on the finance ministry website.
The only change is that the Department of Fertilizer and capital expenditure and revenue expenditure outlay on defence have been moved to category A (departments without any spending limits) from category B.
Departments under category B cannot spend more than 20 per cent of the year’s expenditure allocation in a quarter, while departments under Category C cannot spend more than 15 per cent.
The other conditions remain the same.
“The amounts that remain unspent in a month or a quarter will not be available for automatic carry forward to the next month or quarter. Specific approvals of the expenditure secretary shall be obtained for utilising these unspent amounts,” the memo said.
The extension of expenditure curbs comes at a time when the government is deploying its expenditure primarily on welfare schemes and infrastructure, and has asked departments not to initiate any new public-funded schemes in the ongoing fiscal besides those announced in Atmanirbhar Bharat and Garib Kalyan packages.
The Centre has also placed curbs on travel, printing, and other administrative costs.