After Centre’s guidelines, Bihar takes steps to regulate SSA spending through one bank a/c

Published on Jun 26, 2021 09:52 PM IST

The Bihar Education Project Council (BEPC) has written to all district education officers (DEOs) to conform to Centre’s guidelines regarding modified procedures for spending and utilisation of funds meant for centrally sponsored schemes (CSS)

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By, Patna

The Bihar Education Project Council (BEPC) has written to all district education officers (DEOs) to conform to Centre’s guidelines regarding modified procedures for spending and utilisation of funds meant for centrally sponsored schemes (CSS).

The new mechanism for Samagra Shiksha Abhiyaan (SSA), under which DEOs are required to operate through only one bank account mapped with public finance management system (PFMS) portal, will be effective from July 1, officials said.

“For this, the multiple existing bank accounts have to be closed, and all the unspent money, along with accrued interest, from there has to be transferred to the single zero balance subsidiary bank account to be opened at different levels by June 26, 2021,” wrote BEPC director Sanjay Singh.

Singh has directed the DEOs to prepare head-wise details (general head, capital head) of all the unspent money under elementary and secondary education and categorise them under general, SC and ST components before sending it to the state office. All the unspent amount after adjusting advanced has to be returned to the account of single nodal agency (SNA), as mandated, by June 28 so that the new integrated system could take off by July 1.

The department of expenditure, Government of India, had issued the modified procedure for release of funds to states/ union territories for CSS and monitoring utilisation of funds released to ensure effective cash management and improve transparency in public expenditure management. Under it, each SNA, registered with the PFMS, has been designated for each CSS by every state government.

According to the Centre’s guidelines, funds available in the bank accounts of the implementing agencies have to be transferred to the bank account of the SNA concerned with clear bifurcation of the central and state share.

Singh said the direction was issued by the Union finance ministry with regard to all centrally sponsored schemes. “We will review it after 3-4 days, as it has to be followed,” he added.

In keeping with the Centre’s integrated education scheme, the Bihar SSA, for tackling class 1-12 in a coordinated way, had also notified just one implementing agency at the state level, the BEPC.

The decision to subsume the entire centrally sponsored scheme into one integrated school education scheme was done to rationalize institutional arrangements at all levels and adopt a holistic approach for administration of school education. As the scheme is outcome oriented, school effectiveness occupies the centre stage of its management framework.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Arun Kumar is Senior Assistant Editor with Hindustan Times. He has spent two-and-half decades covering Bihar, including politics, educational and social issues.

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