General Financial Rules - 2017: Excerpts concerning Provisions for Libraries

General Financial Rules (GFRs) are a set of Government of India rules and instructions to be followed by all when dealing with matters concerning public finances. These rules and regulations are regarded as executive directives to be followed by all Departments and Organisations under the Government and designated Bodies except otherwise given in these Rules.

General Financial Regulations were first published in 1947 putting together all current orders and instrutions relating to financial matters in one place. These have subsequently been modified and published as GFRs 1963 and GFRs 2005.

The aim of any rule is to provide a framework through which an organization conducts its business in a financially prudent manner without compromising its flexibility to deal with various circumstances. The GFRs 2005 were very comprehensively reviewed with the aim of promoting simplicity and transparency in the financial system and procedure of the government. GFRs, 2017 have also 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 new GFRs 2017 is expected to allow an enhanced, productive and effective fiscal management system, while providing the required flexibility to promote timely service delivery.

Some excerpts from the GFR-2017 concerning rules related to libraries are given below:

Rule 142 This chapter contains the general rules applicable to all Ministries or Departments, regarding procurement of goods required for use in the public service. Detailed instructions relating to procurement of goods may be issued by the procuring departments broadly in conformity with the general rules contained in this Chapter.

Rule 143 Definition of Goods. The term ‘goods’ used in this chapter includes all articles, material, commodity, livestock, furniture, fixtures, raw material, spares, instruments, machinery, equipment, industrial plant, vehicles, aircraft, ships, medicines, railway rolling stock, assemblies, subassemblies, accessories, a group of machineries comprising of an integrated production process or such other category of goods or intangible products like software, technology transfer, licenses, patents or other intellectual properties purchased or otherwise acquired for the use of Government but excludes books, publications, periodicals, etc. for a library. The term ‘goods’ also includes works and services which are incidental or consequential to the supply of such goods, such as, transportation, insurance, installation, commissioning, training and maintenance.

Rule 210 Custody of goods and materials.
The officer-in-charge of stores having custody of goods and materials, especially valuable and/or combustible articles, shall take appropriate steps for arranging their safe custody, proper storage accommodation, including arrangements for maintaining required temperature, dust free environment etc.

Rule 211 Lists and Accounts.

(i)       The Officer-in-charge of stores shall maintain suitable item-wise lists and accounts and prepare accurate returns in respect of the goods and materials in his charge making it possible at any point of time to check the actual balances with the book balances.

The form of the stock accounts mentioned above shall be determined with reference to the nature of the goods and materials, the frequency of the transactions and the special requirements of the concerned Ministries/Departments.

(ii) Separate accounts shall be kept for

(a)    Fixed Assets such as plant, machinery, equipment, furniture, fixtures etc. in the Form GFR-22.

(b)   Consumables such as office stationary, chemicals, maintenance spare parts etc. in the Form GFR-23.

(c)    Library books in the Form GFR 18

(d) Assets of historical/artistic value held by museum/government departments in the Form GFR-24. 

Note: These forms can be supplemented with additional details by  Ministries / Departments as required. 

Rule 215 Physical verification of Library books.

(i)        Complete physical verification of books should be done every year in case of libraries having not more than twenty thousand volumes. For libraries having more than twenty thousand volumes and up to fifty thousand volumes, such verification should be done at least once in three years. Sample physical verification at intervals of not more than three years should be done in case of libraries having more than fifty thousand volumes. In case such verification reveals unusual or unreasonable shortages, complete verification shall be done.

(ii)        Loss of five volumes per one thousand volumes of books issued/consulted in a year may be taken as reasonable provided such losses are not attributable to dishonesty or negligence. However, loss of a book of a value exceeding Rs. 1,000/- (Rupees One thousand only) and rare books irrespective of value shall invariably be investigated and appropriate action taken.


Rule 228 As a general principle Grants-in-aid can be given to a person or a public body or an institution having a distinct legal entity. Thus Grants-in-aid including scholarships may be sanctioned by an authority competent to do so under the Delegation of Financial Powers Rules to :—

a)   Institutions or Organizations set up as Autonomous Organisations, under a specific statute or as a society registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 or Indian Trusts Act, 1882 or other statutes.

b)   Voluntary organizations or NonGovernment Organisations carrying out activities which promote the welfare schemes and programmes of the Government should be selected on the basis of well-defined criteria regarding financial and other resources, credibility and type of activities undertaken.

c)      Educational and other institutions by way of scholarships or stipends to the students.

d)     Urban and Rural local self-government institutions

e)      Co-operative societies.

f)   Societies or clubs set up by Government servants to promote amongst themselves social, cultural and sports activities as recreational avenues.


Rule 307 Notwithstanding anything contained in Rule 275, security need not be furnished in cases of –: 
(a) Government servants who are entrusted with the custody of stores, which in the opinion of the competent authority are not considerable.

(b) Government servants, who are entrusted with the custody of office furniture, stationery and other articles required for office management, if the Head of Office is satisfied about the safeguards against loss through pilferage.

(c) Librarian and Library Staff.

(d) Drivers of Government vehicles.


India. Ministry of Finance, Dept. of Expenditure. General Financial Rules - 2017.

Self-Check Exercises

1. Which rule of Government of India provides the guidelines for maintaining accounts for library books?

Answer: (B) Rule 211 of GFR 2017

2. As per the Performa given in GFR 2017, accession register contains how many columns?

Answer: (C) 15

3. Which rule of government of India grant exclusion of librarian and library staff from security deposits in case of handling cash?

Answer: (B) Rule 307 of GFR 2017

4. Which rule of Government of India provides the guidelines regarding the physical verification of library books?

Answer: (A) Rule 215 of GFR 2017

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