New system to disburse salary of government employees

The decision to introduce e-billing in treasuries for disbursing the salary of State government employees without providing adequate infrastructure facilities has come in for criticism.

Informed sources told The Hindu here on Sunday that the decision to introduce e-billing for distributing the October salary of self-drawing officers to start with, failed to take off as expected.

Without reviewing the outcome, it has been proposed to introduce the new system soon in 23 district treasuries and all over the State from December.

Three categories

The government has categorised the departments into three for salary disbursal.

The payment for judiciary, excise, police, sales tax, local fund audit and such other departments are made on the first pay date, education and health services on the second day, and all other departments on the third day.

It remains to be seen whether the new system will be able to deliver the payments of departments having a large number of employees and substantial cash transactions without any hitch.

At present, Spark, an open source platform optimised for businesses and organisations, is used for storing the data of employees.

This has been integrated with the software Treasury Information System (TIS) for launching e-billing in treasuries.

But there are complaints that the government has taken the plunge without enhancing the capacity of the server or providing other infrastructure facilities for conducting the operations in a foolproof manner.

Gain for banks

Yet another concern is the provision in the software for cashing the salary bills only at the nationalised banks. Once this system is adopted in full swing, the treasuries are feared to become redundant. This is also considered as a move to gradually transfer the funds left at the disposal of the government in treasuries to the nationalised banks. This would make the flow of about Rs.1,500 crore to the banks easy every month.

Since the banks have automatic teller machines, all employees will not be withdrawing the salary at one go and each bank will always have a substantial sum in the salary head alone. This will only help the banks to do a brisk business, but will be a major loss for the treasuries.

This situation can be effectively addressed only by improving the basic facilities in treasuries.

Networking of the treasuries should be expedited and ATM facility should be introduced soon. All these have to be put in place and the experiments should be made only after taking adequate precautions, the sources said.

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