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Coronavirus: Govt declares expenditure system essential service for smooth payment functions

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The finance ministry on Monday declared the government expenditure system as an essential service, implying that all its payment functions will run normally to ensure that there are no delays in transfer of funds to meet any emergent needs amidst the coronavirus crisis.

Also, all offices connected with the payment functions of the government will remain open, a finance ministry office memorandum said.

"The @FinMinIndia ensures uninterrupted and smooth functioning of the Government Expenditure system during the containment period of COVID-19 by declaring Govt. Expenditure system to be an essential service, thereby ordering all offices connected with the payment functions of the Government to remain open and ensure that there are no financial delays," Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in a tweet.

This measure will ensure that in these challenging times, the expenditure system functions quickly to cope with any emergent needs, she said.

In the present situation, the smooth and normal functioning of the government expenditure system is critical to safeguard public interest, the memorandum said.

Therefore, it said, the expenditure function of the government in general and the Integrated Finance Division (IFD) of ministries and department and office of Controller General of Accounts (CGA) in particular are essential services.

"Indeed, in certain sectors, the expenditure systems may have to function more quickly than normal to cope with the emerging needs," it said.

Absence of staff shall not be a reason for any delay or non-functioning of the payment and accounting system, it said, adding, pay and account offices and other offices dealing with payments shall remain open during working hours.

Financial advisors and field offices of the CGA shall attend offices as per normal schedule to ensure coordination and supervision and shall issue suitable instructions for the presence of others as necessary to achieve these objectives, it added.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, March 23 2020. 20:50 IST