Commissioner of Panchayat Raj and Rural Employment, Andhra Pradesh, Hyderabad has reported that after conclusion of 4th ordinary Elections to Gram Panchaysts in the State the Sarpanches have taken charge of Gram Panchayat administration.
orders have been issued to the effect that “all Scheme Funds as well as Gram Panchayat Funds shall be operated by the Sarpanch with the Joint Signature of Panchayat Secretary”.
Andhra Pradesh State Sarpanches Association and the Andhra Pradesh State Backward Classes Welfare Association have represented to the Government to cancel the orders issued in the reference 6th read above as these orders are contrary to the 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendment Act and therefore requested to modify the orders to vest the cheque power only with Sarpanches who are elected representatives of people of the Gram Panchayat.
Government have examined the issue carefully and having regard to the fact that the executive instructions in the reference 4th read above were issued at the time when the term of the Grama Panchayats was coming to a close and there was an emergent need to associate the Grama Panchayat Secretaries for the purpose of continuity in financial management.
Since there are large number of vacancies in the posts of Grama Panchayat Secretaries leading to a single Grama Panchayat Secretary being put in charge of much more than two Grama Panchayats at a time making the existing system of joint signatures of Sarpanches/Panchayat Secretaries for drawal of Gram Panchayat funds very complicated and adversely effecting the execution of works in time. Hence the Joint signature system may not serve the purpose for which it is meant.
Now in view of the above, and particularly the position stated in para-1 above, there is a need to restore the cheque drawing powers of Sarpanches. Hence, Government hereby rescind orders issued in the references and consequently hereby reiterate the orders issued in the reference 1st read above for taking action in terms of Rule 40 of Rules relating to “Certain Taxes & Lodging of Moneys received by the Gram Panchayat and payment of Money from the Gram Panchayat Fund” issued in the G.O. 1st read above which read as follows:-
“All orders or cheques against the Gram Panchayat Fund shall be signed by the Sarpanch of the Gram Panchayat”.
Guidelines for issuing Cheques by the Gram Panchayats:
Under rule 41 of the G.O.Ms.No. 432 Dated.30.10.2013, the drawing of moneys under rule 40 by the Sarpanch shall be subject to the control of and the conditions laid down by the District Panchayat Officer concerned. But, it is noticed that often times the general financial rules are not being followed while making payments from the Gram Panchayat Fund. The Cheque drawing authority is expected to ensure strict compliance of financial rules issued by the Government from time to time before making any payment from the Gram Panchayat Funds.
Government after examination of the matter hereby direct that the District Panchayat Officers should ensure that all necessary rules are observed scrupulously by the Cheque drawing authorities of Gram Panchayats. In addition to the rules issued from time to time on this subject the following instructions are followed while issuing the cheques and making payments from the Gram Panchayat Fund in order to maintain financial discipline.
i) All payments out of the Gram Panchayat fund in respect of bills presented to the Gram Panchayat shall be made only as per the administrative sanction accorded by the Sarpanch backed by Gram Panchayat resolutions invariably and as per the provisions of Andhra Pradesh Panchayat Raj Act 1994 and rules made thereunder.
ii) Before passing the respective bills by the Sarpanch, the Panchayat Secretary concerned should scrutinise bills strictly in accordance with the financial rules and place before the Sarpanch for passing the bills. Wherever possible printed forms shall be used in preparing the bills;
iii) After the bill is passed and entered in the respective accounting registers including cash book, thereafter only the Panchayat Secretary should place cheque for the signature of the Sarpanch;
iv) Where any item of expenditure requires the sanction of any authority higher than the executive authority drawing the bill, such sanction shall be obtained and the terms thereof shall be quoted on the bill;
v) No item of expenditure shall be sanctioned by the Gram Panchayat and payment made unless the following conditions are fulfilled:
a) Passage of resolution by the Grama Panchayat.
b) Existence of administrative sanction, Technical sanction, measurement of work(M books), check measurement, etc., if it is related to the execution of works in Gram Panchayat,
c) In case of purchases, the same shall be made in accordance with the procurement procedure prescribed in Andhra Pradesh Financial Code and related rules issued thereunder,
d) In case of remuneration to the contract workers/part-time workers in the Grama Panchayat, they should have been appointed in accordance with the rules in force and payment is made as per the budget norms of Gram Panchayat,
e) Whether sufficient provision is available in Budget of the Gram Panchayat for incurring such expenditure during the financial year,
vi) Payments shall be made only by cheque drawn in favour of the parties. Self Cheque should not be drawn unless otherwise permitted to do so for any particular purpose.
vii) All the Accounting and Work registers including cheque book and pass books should be kept in the Gram Panchayat Office and under personal custody of Panchayat Secretary. However, the records can be accessed by the Grama Sarpanch as per requirements. These records/books should not be kept in private houses under any circumstances.
viii) The drawer of a bill for salary and allowances shall be personally responsible for the amount so drawn until it has been disbursed to the proper person or persons concerned and their acquaintances have been obtained.
ix) The expenditure should not be prima-facie more than the occasion demands. The Sarpanch should exercise the same diligence and care in respect of all expenditure from public money under his/her control as a person of ordinary prudence would exercise in respect of expenditure of his own money.
x) Payments should not be made directly from the money collected by way of receipts. The receipts should be deposited in the Treasury immediately.
xi) There should be no undue rush of expenditure.
3. The District Panchayat Officers should ensure strict compliance of the above rules and closely monitor the financial transactions in the Gram Panchayats. Any failure on the part of the District Panchayat Officers in this regard will be viewed seriously and necessary disciplinary action initiated against the concerned.
4. The Commissioner, Panchayat Raj and Rural Employment, Hyderabad is requested to take necessary follow up action on the above guidelines
The Commissioner, Panchayat Raj & Rural Employment, Hyderabad shall take necessary action accordingly.G.O.Ms.No. 431 Dated.30.10.2013
1.G.O.Ms.No.30, PR&RD (PTS.III) Dept, dated. 20.01.1995.
2.G.O.Ms.No.70, PR&RD (PTS.III) Dept,. dated.9.02.1996.
3.G.O.Ms.No.137, PR&RD (PTS.III) Dept, dated.22.03.1996
4.Govt. Memo.No.10119/E&R/A1/2011-1, Dt. 19.05.2011.
5.From the CPR&RE, Lr.No.4055/DPR/C2/2011, dated.07.08.2013.
6. G.O.Ms.No.385, PR&RD (PTS.III) Dept, dated.19.08.2013.
7.Representation from Andhra Pradesh State Panchayat Sarpanches
Association, dt. 22.08.2013.
8.Representation from Andhra Pradesh State Backward Classes Welfare
Association, dt. 27.8.2013.