India

Tech Edge to Cut Graft

BeyondHeadlines News Desk

Plan panel may introduce IT-enabled monitoring system to check fund pilferage

 

Of late corruption has become a major menace affecting every bit of Indian life. People have started saying that the menace has acquired a shape of three-dimension, as those in power are making money by unfair means from below the land (mining), on the land (from various schemes of the government) and above the land (spectrum).

Scams like NRHM and PDS in UP involving thousands crores of rupees have made government to re-orient its monitoring mechanism to avoid such scams taking place in future.

For the purpose the government has worked out an IT enabled near real-time monitoring network system to keep an eye not only on the fund flow from Centre to the lowest level, but also the physical outcome of expenditure on various Central social sector schemes. On central schemes the government of India spends about Rs 4, 00, 000 crore every year and it is believed, if the funds are utilized properly for next five years the face of India can change for better permanently.

The new set-up, which will be rolled out in the entire country in the next five years, is named as Central Plan Scheme Monitoring System (CPSMS).

As per the plan, which has piloted by Planning Commission in association with finance and IT ministries, it will work like network of networks and will capture data on fund flow from both Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) and treasury routes at the grass roots level in real near time.

The Controller General of Accounts, ministry of finance, on last Friday made a presentation on CPMS to deputy chairman of planning commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia.

During the presentation, the Controller General of Accounts highlighted the achievements of the pilot projects on CPSMS undertaken in four states including Bihar (MGNREGS), Madhya Pradesh (NRHM), Punjab (SSA) and Maharashtra (PMGSY).

As per the presentation, with which the government appeared wholly satisfied, the treasury interface was successfully tested in Bihar and Maharashtra, as now details of utilization of funds (object head wise) through the state treasury route during financial year 2010-11 are available. Even daily uploads for financial year 2011-12 are available in case of Maharashtra.

In states, where pilot projects were undertaken, the government has achieved in creating real-time interface with Core Banking Solutions (CBS) of 26 public sector commercial banks, four private banks and 30 regional Rural Banks (RRBs). The CPSMS’ integration with NREGA Soft (MoRD), PRIYASoft (MoPR) and tally (accounting software) are underway, it was informed.

With pilot projects successfully operating, many other states including Odisha, Haryana, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala have expressed the desire to implement the system at the earliest, it was informed during the presentation.

However, as per the plan, the government has envisaged to extend the CPSMS to all states for all Central schemes in the next five years.

Since the CPSMS has been implemented in four states on a pilot basis, already 4,73,000 agencies have been registered on the system’s portal with bank account details (including balances, type of payment – cash/cheque etc., beneficiary details).

All these details are now available for the registered agencies on near real time basis. “In four pilot states all state, district and block level agencies have been registered under MGNREGS, NRHM, SSA and PMGSY.

Majority of village level agencies have also been registered,” the presentation revealed.

Further giving details of the success of the pilots in component wise expenditure details filing, the presentation claimed that capability of software for component-wise expenditure filing and reporting has been tested in four districts in Bihar (MGNREGS), Hosangabad District in MP (NRHM) and Ludhiana District of Punjab (SSA). In MP, all district level agencies are filing component wise expenditure details (NRHM).

Incidentally, the concept of IT infrastructure for real time monitoring system has been inspired by the US transparency portal, which has been tracking the money spent all over the country. The system has successfully been working there for last 10 years. (Courtesy: Pratirodh)

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