In order to expedite project approvals, the government has revised financial limits of departments and ministries while empowering ministers to clear projects of up to Rs 500 crore as against the earlier ceiling of Rs 150 crore.
Besides, projects or schemes worth Rs 500 crore and above and up to Rs 1,000 crore can be cleared by the Finance Minister and projects over Rs 1,000 crore would require the Cabinet approval, the Finance Ministry said in a statement.
“As per the revised delegation, the Committee on Non-Plan Expenditure (CNE), which serves as an appraisal forum for all non-plan proposals of Central Government Ministries or Departments, will now appraise proposals involving expenditure of Rs 300 crore and above from earlier limit of Rs 75 crore,” it said.
Non-plan Schemes or projects of less than Rs 300 crore can now be appraised by Ministry or Standing Finance Committee of the Ministry concerned, it said.
The financial powers of the Minister-in-charge of the administrative ministry in case of the Non-Plan schemes or projects have also been enhanced and the schemes or project costing less than Rs 500 crore can now be approved that level.
Earlier, the Minister-in-charge could approve projects costing less than Rs 150 crore, it said.
Proposal having financial limits of Rs 1,000 crore and above shall require approval of the Cabinet or Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, it said.
Concurrently, it said, financial limits regarding appraisal and approval of increase in cost estimates have also been revised.
“Increase in cost up to 20 per cent of the firmed up cost estimates can now be appraised by the Financial Adviser and approved by Secretary of the administrative Department, if the absolute cost escalation is up to Rs 75 crore, and by the Administrative Minister-in-charge if absolute cost escalation is above this,” it said.
With this enhancement of financial powers, the financial limits for appraisal and approval of plan and non-plan schemes /projects of Central Government Ministries and Departments have been brought almost at par, it said, adding that this is expected to expedite appraisal and approval process in the Central Government Ministries/Departments.