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Bihar govt issues guidelines to check parking of funds in personal ledger/deposit accounts

|HT|


In a bid to check financial impropriety and parking of funds ahead of the closure of financial accounts on March 31, the state finance department has directed all treasuries that any amount over ₹1 crore to be transferred to personal ledger/deposit accounts of departments should be done by prior approval from the finance department. The move comes after Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) in its state finance audit report in 2020 red flagged the finance department over big amount lying in PD accounts and recommended that all amounts lying in PD accounts should be remitted to consolidated fund of India.

The central auditor had highlighted that there were 158 PD accounts having a closing balance of ₹3,312 crore till March 2020 and recommended that usage of PD accounts should be curtailed for maintaining sanctity of budgetary process.

“The treasuries have been told that no unnecessary transfer of funds should be made in PD accounts and approvals have to be taken if the amount is over ₹1 crore,” said a finance officer, wishing not to be quoted. A circular in this regard was issued by the finance department recently. PD accounts are opened in treasuries for meeting fast expenditure in public interest not possible through the normal treasury procedure and other reasons. Personal ledger accounts are opened for various boards, authority, agency and society as well as special purpose vehicles.

CAG had cautioned in its report that non-reconciliation of balances of PL accounts periodically and non –transfer of unspent amounts to consolidated fund of India before end of financial year entails risk of misuse of public funds, fraud and misappropriation.

Finance officials said the implementation of CFMS ( omprehensive financial management system), a new system where all treasuries are connected online and all expenditure and withdrawals are updated on daily basis, had already brought down the PD accounts after migration to the new system. “There is more transparency in the new system and PD/ PL accounts are being monitored closely,” said another officer.


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