Minister for Finance, Labour & Employment Dr Haseeb A Drabu today reviewed the modalities for replacement of the existing Treasury system with Pay and Accounts Office (PAO) as was announced by him in the state legislature while presenting budget 2017-18.
Principal Secretary, Finance Navin Kumar Choudhary, Director General Accounts & Treasuries Altaf Hussain Mirza, Director Codes Mohammad Rafi Andrabi and other senior officers of the Finance Department were present at the meeting.
During the meeting, a detailed presentation on Pay and Accounts Office (PAO) system was made to the Finance Minister. The meeting was informed that a committee of senior officers was constituted to study the PAO system of GoI so that it helps in coming up with own such system in J&K. The Committee after having several deliberations and discussions evolved a workable PAO model for the state.
It was further informed that many key elements of GoIs PAO system have been incorporated in the proposed system which would ensure better understanding of the department resulting in accurate forecasting, budgeting, accounting and reporting. An inbuilt pre-check mechanism in PAO system would be able to monitor and control the purpose and objective of payments, budgetary sanctions and ceilings, proper classification, and excess payment issues.
The meeting held threadbare discussions on the organizational structure of the proposed system and its functioning to bring positive change in the existing payment system.
Pertinently the Finance Minister during his budget speech announced moving out of ancient and archaic system of Treasuries. He had proposed a reform in Government’s payment system by replacing the present Treasury System which is geographically demarcated by a functionally aligned Pay and Accounts Office (PAO) System.
Addressing the meeting, the Finance Minister said before switching to the new system, there is a need to further lower down the layers in the system dealing with the government payments. He asked the officers to carry out administrative reforms in the draft PAO Model so that the objective behind moving out of treasuries system can be achieved.
“The new PAO system will bring major changes in the payment system and will also simplify the whole process of payment. Instead of receiving the receipts and disbursing the payments of numerous departments as in the treasury system, the PAO would deal with just one channel”, the Minister said.
The Minister stressed the need to strengthen the audit wing in the system so that it actually carries out the job of critical assessment of economy, efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery mechanism to ensure reasonable justification of expenditure.
Dr Drabu said the new PAO system will be able to monitor and control the purpose and objective of payments, budgetary sanctions and ceilings, proper classification, and excess payment issues. He asked for streamlining the public interface in the proposed system for its effective functioning and also to strengthen IT part to make it an efficient and better payment system than the existing one.
The PAO system would ensure accurate and timely payment, timely realization of receipts, timely and accurate compilation/consolidation of monthly/annual accounts, adherence to prescribed accounting standards, rules and principals, timely, accurate, comprehensive, relevant and useful financial reporting and efficient monitoring.
The meeting also discussed the proposed PAO system at district level and held deliberations to make it responsible for accounts related work at the district levels.