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HindustanTimes Thu,17 Apr 2014

Run-up to 2014: PMO’s final push to e-governance

Chetan Chauhan , Hindustan Times  New Delhi, June 30, 2013
First Published: 23:46 IST(30/6/2013) | Last Updated: 02:02 IST(1/7/2013)

With UPA’s e-governance plan on a bumpy road, the Prime Minister’s Office has decided to give it a final push before the 2014 general elections.

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The government has launched a national e-governance programme, which aims to provide services in an electronic format from paying taxes to online banking under 31 mission mode projects, to improve financial inclusion.

A study by financial rating company CRISIL shows poor penetration of formal banking facilities in most parts of the country. “Just one in two Indians has a savings account, and only one in seven Indians have access to banking credit,” the study said.

Assessment of the e-governance programme by Indian Institute of Management, (IIM) Ahmedabad shows that the government may fail to achieve its target of providing most the services online by 2013.

Subhash C Bhatnagar of IIM said there was huge impact variability among different e-governance programmes, indicating at shortfalls in the delivery mechanism.

IIM suggested that the government charge a nominal fee for providing electronic services to make the programme viable.

A senior government official said that the prime reason for poor implementation of the e-governance plan was the slow pace of computerisation of government records, especially related to land and property.

“While passport application and income tax payment is now online, many states are yet to bring its municipal services and issuance of certificates in an electronic format,” an official said.

Officials expect the PMO to issue important directions on Monday to different ministries to improve implementation in the next few months.

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