The Ministry of Finance has issued a notification stating that no authority can make any expenditure or create a liability against the Federal Consolidated Fund or Public Account of the federation without proper authorization in the budget through a fiscal and parliamentary process. The notification comes in response to questions raised by the Supreme Court regarding fiscal constraints in holding elections for two provincial assemblies. The court has called for federal secretaries of the finance division and the Election Commission to appear and personally respond to questions about how much funds are available in the federal consolidated account and why about Rs20 billion cannot be spared for elections in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on April 30, as announced by President Alvi.
The Public Finance Management Act, enforced by the PTI government in 2019 under the International Monetary Fund program and with the support of the World Bank, requires no authority to incur or commit any expenditure or enter into any liability involving expenditure from the Federal Consolidated Fund and Public Account of the Federation until the same has been sanctioned by a duly empowered competent authority.
The finance division has directed all principal accounting officers and other authorized officers and accounting offices not to approve any expenditure without the availability of funds through the budgetary mechanism. All the ministries, divisions, attached departments and subordinate offices, autonomous bodies, organizations, commissions, authorities, entities, and corporations of the federal government have been strictly directed to comply with the budget execution strategy.
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The financial procedure of the federal government is laid down in Articles 78 to 84 of the Constitution and broadly prescribes that no expenditure from the Federal Consolidated Fund shall be made unless it is duly authorized by the National Assembly and specified in the Schedule of Authorized Expenditure, so authenticated by the prime minister.
The finance division has asked all the principal accounting officers, heads of autonomous bodies, organizations, commissions, authorities, entities, corporations, audit and accounts offices of the civil and military administration, and the State Bank of Pakistan to “strictly implement the provisions of Constitution, law, rules, regulations, procedures, guidelines, strategies, and instructions.”