New Delhi: Seeking to ensure that funds of ministries meant for ongoing schemes do not lapse awaiting its approval, the Election Commission today said government was free to “park” the amount for such projects in the treasury till it gets a no-objection but utilisation should take place only after elections.
The EC took the decision as the financial year is ending on March 31 and various ministries have approached the poll body to seek approval for implementing pending schemes for which budgetary allocation has already been made.
Ministries and departments are approaching the EC for a formal ‘no-objection’ as the Model Code of Conduct is in force.
“The Commission is aware that the financial year is ending and there would be a lot of work for which financial approval is to be accorded and for which budget provision has been already provided,” the Commission wrote to Cabinet Secretary Ajit Seth.
Keeping in mind the fact that its formal clearance may come after March 31, the EC said it has “no objection if the amounts earmarked for such works are parked in the suspense account of the ministry/department or parked in a government bank/treasury as the case may be, without waiting for the Commission’s formal no-objection subject to the condition that the implementation of the same is taken up after the election is over.”
The EC, however, made it clear that the procedure approved by it will apply only to those references made to it for seeking no-objection or to matters which are in the process of being referred to it for clearance.
It said that in case the budget allocation in such matters is to be distributed to state governments, the ministries or departments can transfer the funds to the states without waiting for EC’s formal no-objection. But the amount should be utilised for actual implementation after the elections.