Railway Accounts Department Examinations

Saturday, November 28, 2020

Order of Precedence of Documents

Order of Precedence of Documents – GCC for Works, 2020 July

 

·         Applicable for: Works Tenders/Contracts as per GCC for Works, 2020 July

 

·        Why: Any difference/ contradiction/  discrepancy  -  with regard to conditions of tender/contract, specifications, drawings, bill of quantities etc., forming part of the tender/contract -  the following documents shall be the order of precedence/Priority/Weightage

Order of Precedence of Documents - easy to remember – L S S T  D G C I I I B

 

SN

Order of Precedence of Documents

1

Letter of Award / Acceptance

2

Schedule of Items, Rates & Quantities

3

Special Conditions of Contract

4

Technical specifications (as given in Tender documents)

5

Drawings

6

GCC – IR Standard General Conditions of Contracts updated with correction slips issued up to date of inviting Tender or as otherwise specified in the Tender documents

7

CPWD Specifications 2019 Vol I & II updated with correction slips issued up to date of inviting tender or as otherwise specified in the tender documents, if applicable in the contract

8

Indian Railways Unified Standard Specification (IRUSS-2019) updated with correction slips issued up to date of inviting tender or as otherwise specified in the tender documents, if applicable in the contract.

9

Indian Railways Unified Standard Specifications (Works and Material) 2010 updated with correction slips issued up to date of inviting tender or as otherwise specified in the tender documents, if applicable in the contract.

10

 IR Specifications/Guidelines updated with correction slips issued up to date of inviting tender or as otherwise specified in the tender documents

11

B.I.S. Codes  (Relevant)updated with correction slips issued up to date of inviting tender or as otherwise specified in the tender documents

 

 

Study material for MCQ

·        First document in the order of precedence:  LOA - Letter of Award

 

·        Last document in the Order of Precedence: BIS Codes

 

·        BIS stands for Bureau of Indian Standards

 

·        LOA stands for Letter Of Award

 

·        CPWD stands for Central Public Works Department (Headed by Director General, who is also the Principal Technical Advisor to the Government of India)

 

·        IRUSS stands for Indian Railways Unified Standard Specifications

 

·        GCC stands for General Conditions of Contract

 

·        Total number of Documents (in Order of Precedence)  - 11

 

 

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Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Arbitration & Conciliation, Excepted Matters

 



Arbitration & Conciliation

 

 

     Authority: Click for Indian Arbitration & Conciliation Act, 1996

 

     Source: Clauses 63 & 64 of GCC for Works, 2019 Click for GCC for Works, 2019

 

     What is Arbitration?

 

1.    Use of an Arbitrator to settle a dispute between parties arising out of contract.

2.    An inbuilt mechanism in Contracts.

3.    Without going through the judiciary.

 

     Who is an Arbitrator ?

 

An Independent person or body officially appointed to settle a dispute.

 

     What is Conciliation ?

 

1.    The action of mediating between two disputing people.

2.    An alternative out of court dispute resolution instrument.

3.    An alternative to Arbitration too.

4.    The parties seek to reach an amicable dispute settlement.

5.    The Conciliator, a neutral third party assists the conciliation process.

6.    Voluntary proceedings. Both the parties are free to agree to it.

7.    The process is flexible, allowing parties to define the time, structure and content of the conciliation proceedings.

8.     The ultimate decision to agree on the settlement remains with the parties.

 

      Reasons for Arbitration cases

 

1.     Site not handed over in time due to delayed land acquisition.

2.    Non removal of Powerline crossings

3.    Non availability of P.Way materials

4.    Delay in obtaining clearances from Forest Dept, Environment ministry etc

5.    Not preparing plans/drawings/designs in advance.

6.    Inadequate delay in issuing instructions.

7.    Frequent changes in Scope, Design, Plans of work during the tenure of contract.

8.    Non finalization of variation statements

9.    Delay in taking measurements and arranging passing of bills

10.  Inadequate funds availability leads to delay in payments

11.  Non attending grievances of contractor promptly

12.  Improper fixation of completion of time leading to number of extensions.

 

     Excepted matters are not arbitrable. Clauses 8, 18, 22(5), 39, 43(2), 45(a), 55, 55-A(5), 57, 57A,61(1), 61(2) and 62(1) of Standard General Conditions of Contract or in any Clause (stated as excepted matter) of the Special Conditions of the Contract)  -  Decision of the Railway authority shall be final and binding on the Contractor.

 

1.    Clause 8 - Assistance by Railway for the Stores to be obtained by the Contractor:

2.    Clause 18 -Illegal Gratification, bribe, commission, gift or advantage provided by Contractor to the Railway Official.

3.    Clause 22(5) - Specifications and Drawings

4.    Clause 39 - Rates for extra items of work

5.    Clause 43(2) - After signing “No Claim Certificate” by Contractor

6.    Clause 55 - Provision of Payment of Wages Act

7.    Clause 57 - Provision of Workmen Compensation Act

8.    Clause 61(1) - Right of Railway to Determine the Contract

9.    Clause 61(2) - Payment on Determination of Contract

10.  Clause 62(1) -  Determination of Contract owing to Default of Contractor

 

     Conciliation:

 

1.    Notice of Dispute:   By Contractor to Railways  - Within 30 days from the date of issue of Completion Certificate by Chief Engineer.

2.    Notify the name(s) of Conciliator(s) to the Contractor  - Within 30 days from the date of receipt of “Notice of Dispute”

3.    Conciliator(s) shall assist the parties to reach an amicable settlement in an independent and impartial manner within the terms of contract.

4.    If parties reach an agreement due to above efforts of Conciliator - Draw up and Sign a Written Settlement Agreement by all parties and Conciliator and it is final and binding for all. 

 

      Demand for Arbitration:

 

1.    120 days to 180 days from the Contractors representation date.

2.    In Writing

3.    Specify the matters and claims

4.    Within 30 days from the date of appointing Arbitral tribunal  - Claimant shall submit his/her claims with supportive documents.

5.    Railway’s counterclaim  - 60 days from the date of appointing Arbitral tribunal.

 

     If the Contractor is not claimed specifically within 90 days from the date of Final Bill is ready for payment,  Railway shall discharge and release all liabilities of Contractor.

 

     Cost of Arbitration  - borne by the Both parties.

 

 

Amount of Claim

No of Arbitrators

Remarks

 

Up to Rs.50 Lakhs

Sole

Retd SAG officer

 

Rs. 50 Lakhs to Rs. 1 Crore

Sole

JAG & above

 

Above Rs. 1 Crore

Panel of Three

Three - JAG & above

 

Or

 

Two - JAG & above

One - Retd Sr.Scale & above

 

 


Tuesday, November 10, 2020

International Accounting Day - 10th November (1494 year)

 

INTERNATIONAL ACCOUNTING DAY TIMELINE

1494
Luca’s Literature

'The Father of Accounting,' - Luca Pacioli, introduces the double-entry bookkeeping system with his publications.

1851
Adding machine invented

Charles Xavier Thomas de Colmar invents the arithmometer, triggering the shift toward computations completed by machines.

1854
First professional accountants' organization

The Institution of Accountants in Glasgow become the first official organization representing and regulating the accounting profession. ​

1973
Let’s Make This (More) Official

The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) is established in the United States.

2001
The Enron scandal

Enron's bankruptcy proved to be an audit failure in American history, bringing new regulations to the accounting profession. ​

Monday, November 9, 2020

Parliamentary Control over Railway Finances

Parliamentary Control over Railway Finances

Parliament House, New Delhi


·         Source: Click for Chapter 3 of Indian Railway Administration & Finance

 

·         The control of Parliament  over railway finance and policy is exercised as follows :—

RCC - Railway Convention

Committee Click

 

NRUCC - National Railway Users

Consultative Council Click

 

PAC - Public

Accounts Committee Click

 

 

 

 

 

Committee on Subordinate

Legislation

 

Committee on Government

Assurances

 

References from Members of Parliament

 

 

 

 

 

Committee system - Referring a matter (of Railways) to the committee of Parliament Members

 

Estimates Committee

 

Submission of Annual Budget for voting of Lok Sabha

Click

 

 

 

 

 

Cut Motions

Click

 

Questions in the Lok Sabha & the Rajya Sabha A) Starred B) Unstarred C) Short Notice

 

Discussion on urgent matters through Adjournment Motion or Calling Attention notice

 

Parliamentary control over Railway finances


Exercised through: 

  1. Annual Budget

  2. Estimates committee

  3. Committee on subordinate legislation

  4. NRUCC

  5. Committee on Government assurances

  6. PAC

  7. RCC

  8. References from Members of Parliament

  9. Committee system - Referring a matter (of Railways) to the committee of Parliament Members

  10. Cut Motions

  11. Questions in the Lok Sabha & the Rajya Sabha A) Starred B) Unstarred C) Short Notice

  12. Discussion on urgent matters through Adjournment Motion or Calling Attention notice


  1. Annual Budgetary exercise



  • Under Article   112   of the  Constitution, A statement of the estimated annual receipts and expenditure whether on the Capital segment or on Revenue segment of the Railways,   commonly known as the ' Budget',  is laid before   both  the   Houses   of Parliament   by Finance Minister. 

  • The proposed expenditure included in the Budget may be—(i) Voted, or (ii) Charged.

  •  Parliament has the power to assent, or to refuse to assent, to any demand or to assent to any demand subject to a reduction of the amount.  (Cut Motions)

  •  If the amount of a grant/appropriation in the budget is found to be insufficient for the purpose of the current year, an estimate for supplementary grant /appropriation,  is submitted by the Railway Board to the vote of the Parliament/ sanction of the President. 

  • Excess Grants relate to expenditure already incurred, for  reasons to be fully explained, in excess of the grant voted by Parliament.  The demand for an excess grant is based on the recommendations of the Public Accounts Committee as a result of their scrutiny of the Appropriation Accounts of the Railways and the Audit Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General.  Excess grants have to be presented after obtaining the recommendation of the President.

  • Budget allotment: The  grants  as  voted  by  the  Parliament  and the  appropriation  for  the  charged  expenditure  as sanctioned  by  the  President,  are  distributed  by the Railway  Board  among  the  railway administrations and other authorities subordinate  to  them,  as  soon  as  possible  after the Budget  is sanctioned. 

  •  The  allotments  made  out  of  funds voted  by  the  Parliament  are  shown  as  ‘Voted’ and  those  fixed  by  the  President  are  shown  as ‘Charged’.

  • Budget Orders: The orders by means of which the allotments are communicated are called "Budget Orders". 

  • In the event of the Budget Orders of the Railway Board not being received before the commencement of the financial year, the railway administrations are empowered to incur expenditure on works which were in progress at the end of the previous financial year.  All expenditure incurred under this rule must be treated as a charge against the allotments eventually made for such works.

  •  When the Budget Orders issued by the Railway Board show any reduction in the estimates originally submitted to them, prompt measures should be taken by the railway administrations to limit the expenditure to the amounts allotted by the Railway Board.

  •  Budget is operative  until  the  close  of  the financial  year.  Under  the  ‘doctrine  of  lapse’,  any unspent  balance  shall  lapse  and   not  be available for utilisation  in the  following  year.


  1. Estimates Committee:


  •  Consists of 30 Members - all elected from Lok Sabha only

  • Term - One year

  •  The members are elected every year from amongst its members of the Lok Sabha, according to the principle of proportional representation by means of single transferable vote. The chairperson is appointed by the Lok Sabha speaker

  •  A minister is not eligible to become a member of the committee. In case a member after his election to the committee becomes a minister, he or she ceases to be a member from the date of such appointment.

  • Scrutinizing the functioning of Government ministries/departments including Indian Railways in terms of the expenditure and utilization of funds. 

  • Suggests alternative policies in order to bring about efficiency and economy in administration. 

  • It also examines whether the finances are laid out within the limits of the policy implied in the estimates and also to suggest the form in which the estimates shall be presented to Parliament

  •  It is a financial standing committee (PAC too)

  • The committee from time to time selects the estimates pertaining to a ministry or department of the central government or such of the statutory and other bodies of the central government as may seem fit to the committee.



  1. Committee on Subordinate Legislation: 


  •  scrutinizes and reports to the House to know whether the powers are making regulations, rules, sub -rules, by-laws etc. conferred by the constitution or delegated by the parliament are being properly exercised by the executive within the scope of such delegation. 

  • Consists of 15 Members from both the Houses. 

  •  Term: One year


  1. NRUCC


  • National Level -  NRUCC - National Railway Users Consultative Council


  • Zonal  Level - ZRUCC - Zonal Railway Users Consultative Committee


  • Divisional level - DRUCC - Divisional Railway Users Consultative Committee


  • All the Committees and Council established under these rules are consultative in character.


  • Questions relating to staff, discipline and appointment should not be brought before the Committees or the Council.


  • Afforded reasonable facilities like Free passes for  travel and Travelling allowance to all Non official members for attending committee meetings or any other work of the committee.


Objects:


A.    Securing better representation of Railway users.


B.     Affording more frequent opportunities for consultation between Railways and Users on matters relating to service.

C.     Improving the passenger services.


Functions:


  1. Provision of amenities


  1. Opening of New stations


  1. Improvement of Passenger services and facilities


  • Members - From Chamber of Commerce, Trade Associations,  Industries Association, Agriculture Association, Handicapped  Association, Registered Passengers association, Consumer  Protection Organisation, MLAs, MPs , Railway Officials etc




NRUCC

ZRUCC

DRUCC

Full form

National Railway Users Consultative Council

Zonal Railway Users Consultative Committee

Divisional Railway Users Consultative Committee

Chairman

Minister for Railways

GM

DRM

Secretary

Director, Traffic Commercial (General) II

Secretary to GM or any other officer nominated by GM

Sr.Traffic Officer (Sr.DOM /Sr.DCM)

Tenure

2 years

2 years

2 years

Tenure commenced from

July

April

January

No of times - Meet

2 times

3 times

Not less than 3 times



  1. Committee on Government Assurances


  • scrutinizes the assurances, promises, undertakings etc. given by ministers from time to time;

  • and to report to the respective house and to see whether such implementation has taken place within the minimum time necessary for the purpose.

  • Consists of 15 members in Lok Sabha and 10 members in Rajya Sabha.

 

  1. PAC

 

  •  Shortly or popularly called as PAC.

  • It is one of the Standing Parliamentary committees in India. Hence it is under the control of Speaker of Lok Sabha.

  • The term of office of PAC members is one year only.

  •  Total Members should not be more than 22.  (15 Members were from Lok Sabha and 7 Members were from Rajya Sabha)  

  •   None of the above members shall be a Minister of Government.  If a Member after his election to the PAC is appointed a Minister, he ceases to be a member of the Committee.  

  •   The Chairman of PAC is appointed by the Speaker amongst its members of Lok Sabha. Since 1967, the Chairman of the PAC has been a member of Opposition.  This practice has been continued since then, though it is not mandatory.

 

Functions of PAC

 

  • Examination of the Appropriation Accounts relating to Railways, Defense Services, P & T Dept and other civil ministries of Central Government.

 

  • Examination of Reports of CAG on the above Appropriation Accounts.

 

  • Examination of CAG Report on Revenue Receipts of Government of India.

 

  • That the money shown in the Appropriation accounts as having been disbursed were legally available for and, applicable to the service or purpose to which they have been applied or charged.

 

  • That the expenditure conforms to the authority which governs it.

 

  • That every re-appropriation has been made in accordance with the provisions made in this behalf under rules framed by competent authority.

 

  •   Normally all the recommendations of the PAC are implemented by the Government.

 

Working of the PAC:

 

  •   The representatives of the Ministries like Railways, Defense etc appear before the PAC when examining the Accounts and Audit (CAG) reports relating to their ministries.

 

  •    The committee proceeds by way of INTERROGATION of witnesses.  The CAG is the "friend, philosopher and guide of the PAC" while attends the sittings of the Committee and assists it in its deliberations.

 

  •   The Committee may appoint one or more Sub-Committees/groups to examine any particular matter.

 

 

Govt's Action on PAC recommendations:

 

  •   Stages  are  1. Action taken Notes 2.  Action taken Report 3. Action taken Statement.

 

  1. Action taken Notes:  Govt take action on the recommendations of the PAC and submit ACTION TAKEN NOTES to the Committee.

  2.Action taken Report:  The PAC then presents ACTION TAKEN REPORT after considering the views of Government. 

3. Action taken statement:  The Government further submit an Action TAKEN STATEMENT on the action taken by the Government on the Action Taken Report of the committee.  Action taken Statement is generally laid before the House without any further examination by the PAC. 

 

  •   Normally, almost all the recommendations of the Committee are implemented by the Government.

 

  1. RCC

       is an ad hoc Parliamentary committee constituted from time to time on Resolution adopted by Lok Sabha and concurred in by Rajya Sabha.

 

       Þ       The appointment and functions of Railway Convention Committee is a part of Parliamentary control over Indian Railway Finances.

 

       Þ       Composition of RCC - 12 members from Lok Sabha nominated by Speaker and 6 Members from Rajya Sabha nominated by Chairman.

 

       Þ       The Chairman of the Committee is appointed by the Speaker from amongst the members of the Committee.

 

      

       Þ       After Independence, first RCC constituted in the year 1949. Since then, each Lok Sabha has been having a Railway Convention Committee.

 

       Þ        The Committee becomes functus officio after presenting its final Report regarding rate of dividend payable to General Revenues.

 

       Þ       The Report of the Committee on the Rate of Dividend is considered by the House on a Resolution moved by the Minister of Railways.

 

       Þ       After a Report has been presented to the House, the Ministry of Railways and other concerned Ministries are required to take action on various observations and recommendations contained in the Report. The replies of the Government are examined and an ATR- Action Taken Report is then presented to the House.

 

       Þ       is formed once in five years (normally with the formation of New Loksabha)

 

       Þ       Its rules generally applicable for a period of five years.

 

 

R C C recommends on the following aspects:

 

ü Rate of Dividend payable to the General Revenues. (This may not require now, due to merger of Railway Budget with General Budget)

 

ü Appropriation to the D.R.F.

 

ü Modification of rules of expenditure allocation between Capital and Revenue.

 

ü How Rly Surplus (after the payment of Dividend) should be distributed among various Railway Funds.

 

ü To introduce flexibility in the administration of the Railway finances.

 

ü Accounting matters and aspects of Management practices on Railways.

 

ü Express views on Rolling Stock Production and any short earnings and how the same should be overcome.

 

 

ü And any other subject matter brought to its notice by the Minister of Railways.

 

 

 


  1. References from Members of Parliament




  1. Committee system - Referring a matter (of Railways) to the committee of Parliament Members



  1.  Cut Motions

     Part of Parliamentary control over Railway Finances. 

 

≠     A special power vested in Members of Lok Sabha to reduce any Demand for Grant

 

≠     Exercised while discussing the Demands for Grants

 

≠     Consequence:  If the Cut Motion is adopted, it amounts to no-confidence Vote. If the Govt fails to jot up the numbers in Lok Sabha, it is obliged to resign according to the norms of House.

 

≠     The decision to accept a Cut Motion relies solely on the Speaker of the Lok Sabha as per Rules in force.

 

≠     Members can also table notices in electronic form through e-portal specially developed for the purpose.

 

Types:

 

1.    Disapproval of Policy Cut: Demand is reduced to Rupee One.

 

2.    Economic Cut: Reduction of Demand for Grant to a specific amount.

 

3.    Token Cut: The amount of the Demand is reduced by just Rs. 100. This is to ventilate the specific grievance /displeasure.

 

Examples:

 

Type of Cut

Demand for Grant proposed

Amount of

 Cut

Demand for

Grant passed

Remarks

Disapproval

Policy Cut

Rs. 1,00,000

Rs. 99,999

Re 1

Here agreeing the

amount always Re 1 only.

Economic Cut

Rs. 1,00,000

Rs. 30,000

Rs. 70,000

Any amount of cut.

 That is either Rs. 30,000

 or any specific amount

within Rs. 1,00,000

Token Cut

Rs. 1,00,000

Rs. 100

Rs. 99,900

Here, the amount of cut

 always Rs. 100 being Token.

 

  1. Questions in the Lok Sabha & the Rajya Sabha 


  • Any Member of Parliament may ask a question  for the purpose of obtaining information on a matter of public importance.


  •  Starred Questions -A Starred Question is one to which a member desires an oral answer from the Minister in the House and is required to be distinguished by him/her with an asterisk. Answers to such a question may be followed by supplementary questions by members. 


  • Unstarred Questions- An Unstarred Question is one to which a written answer is desired by the member and is deemed to be laid on the Table of the House by the Minister. Thus it is not called for oral answer in the House and no supplementary question can be asked thereon. 


  • Short Notice Questions- A member may give a notice of question on a matter of public importance and of urgent character for oral answer at a notice less than 10 days prescribed as the minimum period of notice for asking a question in ordinary course. Such a question is known as ‘Short Notice Question’. 


  1.  Discussion on a definite   matter of urgent public  importance may be sought by a Member through an Adjournment Motion or a Calling Attention Notice.


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