Fresh moves are reportedly on to route the salary of all government employees through banks by linking the Service and Payroll Administrative Repository for Kerala (SPARK) with nationalised banks.

SPARK, an integrated personnel, payroll, and accounting information system, is a Web-based application implemented for State government employees. The government had given a similar option earlier, but the response was not encouraging.

Finance Department sources told The Hindu here on Tuesday that if the move gets crystallised, all government employees will have to mandatorily draw their salary through banks. This would further weaken the financial position of the government, make the treasury system redundant and will ultimately trim down the functions of the Treasury Department.

The funds allotted will automatically go to the banks and the treasury will be depleted of a substantial sum on the first pay day itself.

The government is yet to take an official call on the proposal that is being moved reportedly under pressure from various sources at the top administrative echelons.

But the move has come to the open at a time when the State government is striving hard to mobilise resources to fund its urgent financial needs.

An earlier decision to channelise the funds of government departments and public sector undertakings had drawn flak and is now being considered as the main reason for deepening the financial crisis.

The Treasury Department is understood to have furnished a proposal to the government long back for bringing SPARK under its administrative control. Currently the system is being managed by an independent 24-member team which is not so familiar with the rules and regulations of the department. Being one of the first government departments to be automated, a majority of the 3,200 staff are computer savvy and can handle the system with effortless ease, but the proposal has been considered seriously so far, sources said.

More significantly, the political leadership is understood to have decided to review the earlier decision to park government funds in banks.

The financial crisis was hotly debated in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections and hence it has been decided to thoroughly review all the decisions of the Finance Department. Chief Minister Oommen Chandy had discussions with the Additional Chief Secretary, Finance, here on Tuesday. The government will soon have to work out a plan for optimising resource mobilisation and also means for averting a crisis in the coming months, sources said.

  • Government staff will have to mandatorily draw their salary through banks

  • Move may make the treasury system redundant

  • This would further weaken government's financial position