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ISLAMABAD: The Finance Division has issued special assignment account procedure for withdrawal of funds from the public account of the federation 2021.

The Finance Division uploaded the special account procedure for withdrawal of funds from the public account of federation 2021, and stated that as per the Cash Management and Treasury Single Account (TSA) Rules 2020, the government offices are neither allowed to undertake any cash operation outside the TSA nor obliged to open, operate or maintain a bank account in any commercial bank.

They can only operate through the principal government account i.e. Central Account No 1 (Non Food) maintained with the State Bank of Pakistan for deposit and withdrawal of all public moneys.

The account procedure states: “However, in contravention of the constitutional and legal provisions as mentioned in clause-1 above and the provisions of Cash Management and NA Rules 2020, the government offices are maintaining a large number of commercial bank accounts purportedly to operate various funds, deposits, reserve funds, etc., which are otherwise legally required to be maintained in the Public Account/Central Account No 1 (Non-food).

“Resultantly, considerable amount of public money has been parked in the commercial bank accounts, hence held outside the TSA system.

“Therefore, under the Cash Management and TSA Rules 2020, they have been required to close all the bank accounts and transfer the public money held outside the TSA system, to the Central Account No 1 (Non-food).

“The prime objective of devising this procedure is to facilitate the government offices in closure of the commercial bank accounts, transfer of all the available balances to the Public Account/Central Account No 1 (Non-food) and undertake further public account transactions through the Government Central Account No 1 (Non-food).

“It has therefore been found expedient to prescribe a dedicated and hassle-free procedure for withdrawal of funds from the Public Account through non-lapsable special assignment account, as the existing Assail assignment account procedure is for withdrawal of funds from the Federal Consolidated Fund only. Moreover, in order to ensure uniformity in fiscal operations, the Personal Ledger Accounts (PLAs), Special Drawing Accounts (SDAs), and Revolving Fund Accounts (Local Currency) shall be discontinued forthwith as already approved by the Finance Division.

“The general policies included that the: (a) procedure shall be used by government offices, i.e., ministries, divisions, attached departments, and subordinate offices, etc., to operate a "Fund" duly established under the authority of an act of the Parliament or the federal government in terms of Article 78(2) of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

“(b) A dedicated/separate head of account in the chart of accounts shall be made available by the Controller General of Accounts (CGA) in respect of each fund, deposit, reserve fund etc for depositing Public Account receipts.

“All the receipts and payments shall be recorded in the same head of account. An additional head of account for 'Assignment Account for Public Account Cheque Clearing Account' shall also be opened by the CGA.

“(c) The revenue receipt(s) in terms of Article 780 of the Constitution of Pakistan and the budgetary allocations made available from the Federal Consolidated Fund shall not be deposited/transferred in the said head of account.

“(d) All the commercial bank accounts maintained by the government offices to operate any fund, deposit, reserve fund etc, shall be closed and the available balances be transferred to Central Account No 1 (Non Food) in SBP as per Finance Division's Letter F.No.1(1)/SO(TSA)/2020 dated 19th August, 2020, for credit against the specified heads of account under the Public Account.

“(e) For withdrawal of funds from each head of account under the Public Account, a separate Non-Lapsable Assignment Account shall be opened, however, sub Assignment Accounts may also be opened as per the stipulations provided under Clause-5 of the Asaan Assignment Account Procedure 2020 circulated vide CGA's letter dated 26.10.2020.

“(f) Request for opening of Assignment Account duly authorised by the Principal Accounting Officer and forwarded through the concerned ministry/division shall be considered by the Finance Division on case-to-case basis.

“(g) Funds shall be drawn within the balance available in the relevant head of account.

“The unspent ceiling/balance in assignment accounts will be non-lapsable and carried forward in the next financial year.

“(h) The Principal Accounting Officers (PAO) shall prepare annual budget estimates and cash plan of receipts and payments of all the funds, deposits, reserve funds etc under their administrative control and submit to the Finance Division through the ministry/division concerned, indicating the relevant Account Circle (e.g. AGPR-Islamabad, Sub-office of the AGPR etc).

“The Finance Division shall include the said Estimates in the Annual Budget Statement in terms of Article 80 of the Constitution of Pakistan after due process.

“(i) Assignment account shall be opened only in the jurisdiction of AGPR/sub-office of the AGPR/AG and DAD concerned.

“The location of assignment account and profit center must be same.

“(j) The cheque book of Assignment Account for the Public Account shall be got printed by AGPR Islamabad in a color different from other assignment accounts.

“Opening of Assignment Account for Public Account, the secretary of a Division being Principal Accounting Officer (PAO) shall submit a formal request to the Finance Division (Budget Wing) through the concerned ministry/division with detailed justifications and information with source of funds to be credited in the Fund, Deposit or Reserve head of account.

“Trust money or obligatory deductions such as contractor's retention money shall also be mentioned, legal authority for maintenance and operation of the fund account.”

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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