Govt works on new system to track welfare schemes

In line with its new fiscal consolidation plan, the government has begun work on a monitoring system with real-time data to ensure funds worth over R4 lakh crore released by the Centre under various schemes reach the intended beneficiaries.

So far the Central Plan Scheme Monitoring System (CPSMS) in the office of the Controller General of Accounts in the finance ministry has been tracking down funds only up to the bank and state treasury levels where one could find details of funds released to the states.

The expenditure finance committee under the finance ministry recently gave its nod for a 'last-mile connectivity' plan to ensure that within five years the fund-tracking system is expanded to see that the payment reaches the districts/blocks/village/panchayats and finally to the ultimate beneficiaries, official sources told FE.

Under the plan, all implementing agencies — central and state government departments —will have to submit comprehensive real-time data to CPSMS on expenditure of the government's allocation right up to the beneficiaries by linking their database to that of e-payment mode of the Unique Identification Authority of India's (UIDAI) aadhar card.

Importantly, they would have to reconcile their data with that of the core banking solution of all the banks.

They also would have to connect their data with state treasuries and the offices of the accountant general.

The final data — now given only to the programme managers —will soon be made available to the general public to encourage them to participate in evaluation of the efficiency of the schemes and in drafting policies, the sources said.

This will plug leakages and ensure the maintenance of a transparent accounting system scheme- and sector-wise and state-by-state, including funds released to NGOs and autonomous bodies.

Besides, it will help in looking at future budgeting of funds for these schemes and to restructure them to improve their efficiency or scrap them altogether if found ineffective.

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