General Financial Rules 2017. GFRs are compilation of rules-orders of Govt. of India to be followed while dealing with matters involving public finances.
General Financial Rules 2017
- General Financial Rules (GFRs) are a compilation of rules and orders of Government of India to be followed by all while dealing with matters involving public finances. These rules and orders are treated as executive instructions to be observed by all Departments and Organisations under the Government and specified Bodies except otherwise provided for in these Rules.
- General Financial Rules were issued for the first time in 1947 bringing together in one place all existing orders and instructions pertaining to financial matters. These have subsequently been modified and issued as GFRs 1963 and GFRs 2005.
- In the last few years, Government has made many innovative changes in the way it conducts its business. Reforms in Government budgeting like removal of distinction in non-plan and plan expenditure, merger of Railway Budget with General Budget, focusing on outcomes through an improved Outcome Budget document, all needed to be reflected in the GFRs. Increased focus on Public Finance Management System(PFMS), reliance on the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) Scheme to ensure efficient delivery of entitlements, introduction of new e-sites like Central Public Procurement Portal, Government e-Marketing (GeM) Portal, Non-Tax Revenue Portal have also necessitated revision of the existing GFRs to keep them in tune with the changing business environment. The objective was to make the GFRs facilitate efficiency rather than create impediments in smooth and timely implementation while following principles of accountability and procedures of financial discipline and administrative due diligence. The Expenditure Management Commission set up in 2014 to recommend ways in which efficiency of public expenditure could be increased has also made several recommendations especially with respect to Autonomous Bodies. New rules on non-tax revenues, user charges, e-receipts portal have been added in addition to the manner in which Autonomous Bodies are run.
- The PAC in April 2015, Group of Secretaries in February 2016 and EMC in March 2016 has recommended setting up a Task Force to review the GFRs so as to frame comprehensive rules to address the issues as highlighted in the above para.
- GFRs, 2017 have evolved as a result of wide consultations with Central Government Ministries and Departments, some State Governments and other stakeholders at the Task Force stage and thereafter. The Discussion Draft was also uploaded on the MoF’s website. Secretaries of each Department/ Ministry of Government of India were asked to give their views for additions/ modifications, keeping in view their specific requirements of their domain. Detailed deliberations were also carried out within the Ministry. C&AG’s comments on the draft GFRs have also been taken into consideration.
- The aim of any rule is to provide a framework within which an organization manages its business in a financially prudent manner without compromising its flexibility to deal with varied situations. The GFRs 2005 have been very comprehensively reviewed with the aim of promoting simplicity and transparency in the Government financial system and procedures. It is expected that the new GFRs 2017 will enable an improved, efficient and effective framework of fiscal management while providing the necessary flexibility to facilitate timely delivery of services.
- Department of Expenditure would like to place on record the exceptional work done by the Task Force on Review of GFRs, the office of the C&AG, the office of the CGA, Budget Division of Department of Economic Affairs, the Ministries and Departments for their valuable inputs and its own officers for assiduously and meticulously completing this vital and challenging exercise in a time bound manner.
Finance Secretary & Secretary
Department of Expenditure
Ministry of Finance
North Block, New Delhi
Dated: 11th February, 2017