To bring in greater efficiencies in the functioning of the Finance Department, the Cabinet on Wednesday gave its approval in principle to reclassify and restructure the Department in the form of Directorates, while also approving bifurcation of the Excise and Taxation Commissionerates.
This decision was taken in the Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh here this afternoon. While okaying the creation of six directorates from the Finance Department, the cabinet underlined the need to restructure the department in view of the current and future needs of the state government. The department, it agreed, needed well-educated and trained manpower in the fields of economics, finance, accounts and statistics, along domain knowledge and certain level of experience in handling the financial operations efficaciously.
The six new directorates proposed to be created are Directorate of Expenditure, Directorate of Budget and Treasury & Accounts, Directorate of Human Resources Management including Coordination and the Account and Establishment Wing of all Directorates, Directorate of Performance Review & Audit, Directorate of Banking & Economic Intelligence and Directorate of Lotteries & Small Savings.
Each directorate will look after a homogenous/related set of works with educated/trained/experienced officials as per the nature of work allocated to respective directorates. These directorates will be directly under the supervision and control of Principal Secretary Finance, who will be assisted by two officers in the rank of Secretary i.e. Secretary (Finance) and Secretary (Expenditure).The Cabinet also gave its nod for creation of 17 new posts in the Excise and Taxation Department, besides bifurcation of the department into Punjab Excise and Punjab Taxation Commissionerates to ensure effective monitoring of the two most important revenue generating sources of the state.
It may be noted that the Excise and Taxation, which is the state’s largest revenue generating department, collected revenue of Rs. 23,784 crores during 2016-17. The revenue collection for the year 2014-15 was Rs. 21,418 crores, and Rs. 22,430 crores during the year 2015-16.
Before the implementation of GST, nearly 2.50 lac dealers were registered in the state. The department of Excise and Taxation was administering taxes only related to Goods like VAT and CST. With the implementation of Goods & Service Tax (GST) from July 2017, the work of the department has increased manifold as tax on services has also come under the purview of the department, which will lead to a hefty increase in the number of dealers, thereby resulting in enhanced quantum of work.Further, in a bid to boost professionalism and enhance capabilities amongst the Section Officers of SAS Cadre, the Cabinet also gave concurrence to amend the Punjab State Finance & Accounts (Group ‘A’) Service Rules, 2012, thereby inserting a condition of departmental examination in the rules regarding their recruitment. It may be recalled that Finance Department (Treasuries & Accounts) had made provisions to appoint Section Officers directly through Punjab Public Service Commission through Punjab State Finance & Accounts (Group-A) Service Rules, 2012. The amendment in rules was necessitated to improve the working of these Section Officers, which would enable them to get thorough knowledge of departmental/service rules.
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