31st March – of Different Kind

Come 31st March and we see a spurt in activities beginning in the preceding weeks. This is particularly true of government departments and business establishments.

This year is different- courtesy spectre of Corona Virus . The author intends to dwell upon some of these aspects. We need to introspect as to whom do we try to fool.

Government Sector

There are umpteen examples of government departments sleeping for eleven months and then, come March, they become super efficient to disburse funds. Some examples are given below-

Against a budgetary allocation of Rs 526,809 crore, the U.P. Government had released sanctions for Rs 331,418 crores upto January2020 – only 63 % utilization. Against the sanctioned amount Rs 269,027 crore was spent upto January 2020 which is approximately 81% .

March loot- is a phenomenon coined out of the above scenario. The administration would now work at break neck speed to sanction the balance Rs 195,391 crores in two months. Utilization of such sanctioned projects and quality of implementation would always be suspect.

Similar situation prevails in most states throughout the country.

Rs 181 crores was allowed to lapse by the City corporation of Kochi in five years from 2011-12 to 2017-18. The local body could not use Rs 36 crores which was specially earmarked for the development and welfare of scheduled castes. Life of the citizens would have been much better if all funds were utilized in time.

This year when most employees are forced to stay home- courtesy quarantine, one hopes for lessening of March Loot. The common man would be thankful.

Funds should lapse on a quarterly basis to ensure efficient utilization and prevent last minute doubtful disbursals in a hurried manner.

Business Establishments

Every salesman becomes busy as 31st March approaches. He puts in maximum effort to achieve the sales target often by giving discounts or credit to lure the customer and outwit the competitor. Every trick – bordering on unethical practise is adopted. 31st March is all about targets- by hook or crook is the rule now-a-days. On this depends promotion, rewards in the form of hefty bonus or paid holiday to exotic locations.

Most salesmen are sleeping this 31st March. Even their spouse and children must be feeling the difference. Instead of partying in Bars, they are having real quality time.

There are instances of maintenance of machines being ignored in the month of March to achieve production targets. This has long term adverse effect on business organization and may even compromise safety.

To project a healthy balance sheet and ensure dividends to the shareholders, mangers of companies start reviewing the financial status in end February. Chartered Accountants are roped in to advise and guide so that a rosy picture of the state of affairs of business can be projected. Tools adopted are- deferred revenues, deferred expenditure, change in valuation systems of inventory, writing off of assets. Intra group transactions are also resorted to on paper. While they may be perfectly legal, they do try to cover up by not being consistent. Often mention of such deviations in footnotes or elsewhere go unnoticed by shareholders.

Window dressing is a term used in Accountancy- not to be done. But exactly the opposite happens.

Those of us in business activity should reflect- is it all desirable?

This 31st March is different- let us introspect our activities.

More By  :  Navin Chandra Mishra

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