Electronic disbursement of government payments to the bank accounts of beneficiaries which was rolled out on Wednesday, is expected to cover all blocks in Odisha by January 2013.
The electronic payment (e-payment) was rolled out jointly by the state finance department and Reserve Bank of India (RBI). It is likely to overcome the shortcomings of the existing system including delay in transmission of funds to the payees' account, parking of funds in drawing and disbursing officers' (DDO's) current account beyond the permissible period, difficulty in monitoring of the cash balances with DDOs and delay in receipt of physical scroll from the banks as well as vouchers for accounting.
The initiative wherein RBI is partnering the Odisha government for direct disbursement to the bank accounts of beneficiaries is the first of its kind among all the states in the country. A similar platform is used by the Union government.
Prafulla Chandra Ghadai, state finance minister said, "This new platform will cut the payment life cycle by at least one-third of the time taken presently."
"The launching of the new payment would increase staff productivity, enhance the customer's satisfaction and minimise the transaction costs for the state government and the bankers, thereby compressing the time and avoid embezzlement of funds," said J K Mohapatra, principal secretary (finance) at the launching ceremony.
V Ramachandra Rao, Regional Director-RBI, Gargi Kaul, Principal Accountant General and P P Nath, Director of Treasuries and Inspection were present at the launching ceremony.
RBI will make the payment to the individual bank accounts as per the e-advice received from the treasury through its Regional Electronic Clearing Service platform that can take about 3.6 million entries per day.
All payments exceeding Rs 5,000 have to be compulsorily made through the bank account of the individual supplier, vendor and beneficiary. Drawal of petty expenditure not exceeding Rs 5,000 can be made in cash, draft or cheque.
On a pilot basis, e-payment process is being operationalised in the state administrative departments. All the heads of the departments, as well as district collectorates and treasuries, will be covered by October and December this year respectively.