Minister for Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs (FCS&CA) and Information, Choudhary Zulfkar Ali today directed the concerned officers to maintain the financial discipline in handling revolving fund of the FCS&CA Department.
Chairing a review meeting to seek update on the remittances made in the fund of the Department, the Minister said the main aim to create the revolving fund was to address the “shortage of money” in the Department.
The Minister said when he took over the Department its annual budget used to be around Rs 235 crore only. However, with the passage of time and with the implementation of National Food Security Act (NFSA) the budget was increased to Rs 700 crore, he added. Besides, the department received additional Rs 100 crore on account of sugar.
The Minister said despite this the Department heavily relied on Government Treasury for any kinds of fund transactions including depositing of its sales.
To address the issue, the Minister said he held threadbare discussions with Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and Finance Department and asked them if FCS&CA could be given certain amount of money to create a fund where from it could easily withdraw and deposit the money to ease its business transactions.
Choudhary Zulfkar Ali said the aim to create the fund was to make the department self-dependent and to ensure that there is no break in the food grains distribution cycle so that people do not face any kind of inconvenience.
He said it is imperative to maintain the financial discipline in maintaining the account as it would save time to run around other financial agencies for seeking funds, and would also greatly help in serving people as per schedule.
The Minister said everyone responsible for maintaining the account should ensure that any kind of deficit in the fund is paid back well within timeframe. He said non-compliance in this regard would reflect on the service books of the concerned officers.
Choudhary Zulfkar Ali also stressed on need to follow the Comptroller and Auditor General’s report. He said the report should be treated as a guiding document as it could help in addressing the issues that have been highlighted there.
The Minister also impressed upon the directors of both the divisions to ensure greater transparency in the functioning of the Department and take action against those found in malpractices.
Later, the Minister also sought update on stock supply position and stressed on timely lifting and distribution of food grains.
Secretary FCS&CA Shafiq Ahmad Raina, Director FCS&CA Jammu R A. Inqalibi, Director FCS&CA Kashmir Nissar Ahmad Wani, Assistant Directors of Kashmir and Jammu divisions, Tehsil Level Officers and other concerned attended the meeting.