Electronic fund management system initiated in seven districts

To eliminate funds pilferage under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) and ensure direct transfer of cash, the State government has proposed to roll out the electronic fund management system (eFMS) in post offices.

The Rural Development and Panchayat Raj (RDPR) Department has initiated eFMS to speed up payment of wages to workers under the Centrally-sponsored scheme in seven districts — Bangalore Rural, Tumkur, Hassan, Bagalkot, Dharwad, Bellary and Mysore.

Accessibility to post offices is greater than banks in rural areas. Officials of the RDPR Department and India Post will hold a regional-level meeting in Mysore on December 27 and discuss the steps taken to roll out eFMS in post offices.

Besides Karnataka, MGNREGA officials from Rajasthan, Gujarat and Odisha will participate in the meeting. The Union government has selected four States for the pilot project, an official in the RDPR Department told The Hindu here on Monday.

Banks have implemented eFMS software in seven districts for payment of wages under the job scheme. E-transfer of funds was initially tested in 22 gram panchayats of the Nelamangala taluk.

Under the scheme, details of work done by labourers under the rural job scheme are maintained electronically by using the software to facilitate direct payment to their accounts. Besides, work valuation of labourers is done by the system. The objective of eFMS is to transfer funds to beneficiaries under the rural job scheme in real-time.

The new system is aimed at minimising corrupt practices such as diversion and parking of funds in other accounts. The other benefits of the system are to maintain up-to-date accounts at all levels based on the transaction which will enable better planning and execution of programme.

Moreover, money would be electronically credited directly to the post office accounts of the beneficiaries. It will eliminate the role of middlemen in the entire process.

Cases

The official said that the department had received 2,269 complaints on the implementation of the job scheme in different districts. As many as 636 cases of misappropriation of funds had been reported in the State. A total of 178 criminal cases had been booked and the department had been conducted inquiries in rest of the cases, the official said. A sum of Rs. 2,442 crore has been earmarked for the State under MGNREGA in 2012-13. As on December 24, Rs. 1,023.82 crore had been spent.

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