Govt empowers the federal secretaries to have full control over development
- Govt empowered the federal secretaries to have full control over funds and be responsible to surrender all unspent funds to the consolidated fund.
- Being a practical beginning, the new fiscal management would minimize the red tape in the implementation of public sector development projects.
- Govt is also working to establish three major zones and 11 sub-zones for adjudicating authorities to deal with undisclosed assets.
The government has empowered the federal secretaries to have full control over the development and non-development funds of their respective ministries.
Federal secretaries are also directed to surrender all unspent funds to the consolidated fund at least 25 days before the close of the fiscal year.
This has been done with coming into force of the Public Finance Management Act 2019 as part of the Finance Bill 2019. It binds the ministries and their secretaries not to keep public funds in commercial banks.
In this way, all funds would remain in the government’s single treasury account and could be withdrawn by principal accounting officers (PAOs) anytime in line with allocations.
New Fiscal Management Regime:
The new fiscal management regime is a practical beginning of an end to fiscal federalism. It would minimize the red tape in the implementation of public sector development projects and schemes. From the next year, it would require a presentation of three-year performance-based federal budgets from the next year.
Under this, the ministries, divisions and related departments would be required to deliver on those targets in three years. The federal secretaries would have full powers to utilize allocated funds in the implementation of these targets.
Under the new law, the secretary would have to go through the Accountant General of Pakistan Revenue (AGPR) for the utilization of allocated funds. This is because he would himself be fully empowered in line with the allocations.
Positions of financial and deputy financial would be replaced:
To adopt modern fiscal models in the federal government, the positions of financial and deputy financial advisers in the ministries would be subsequently replaced with Chief Financial and Management Accountants.
Govt to establish three major zones:
The government informed about the establishment of three major zones; Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad and 11 sub-zones for adjudicating authorities to deal with undisclosed properties.
Dr. Abdul HafeezShaikh, Prime Minister’s Adviser on Finance and Revenue had announced the creation of an adjudicating authority and creation of three zones to go after those not declaring their undisclosed assets.
The minister said the authority would come into action and go after those failing to declare their undisclosed assets.
Jamil Ahmad, a retired grade 22 officer of Pakistan Administrative Service (PAS) has been appointed as chairperson.
Other members include:
- Muhammad Tanvir Akhtar (a retired grade 21 officer of Inland Revenue Service)
- KhaqanMurtaza (another grade 21 officer of PAS)
Chairman of Islamabad Zone-1:
Hassan Zulfiqar of IRS has been designated as chairman of Islamabad Zone-1 for approval of undisclosed cases.
Faiz Hasan will be assisting him, while Hasan Khalid would be responsible for the confiscation of benami properties.
Chairman of Lahore Zone-2:
Khalid Khan, IRS Commissioner, has been designated as chairman of Lahore Zone-2. He would be assisted by Salman Naveed and Asim Reza (both deputy commissioners).
Chairman of Karachi Zone-3:
Syed Shakil Ahmed has been appointed as chairman of Karachi Zone-3. He would be assisted by Syed Bilal MahmoodJafri and Syed Mashkoor Ali.