From Monday, instead of issuing cheques or handing out cash, all payments above Rs25,000 will be made by the state government’s finance department through bank transfers. The state plans to do away with cheque or cash system by the end of the year.
Rajesh Agarwal, secretary of finance department (in-charge of treasuries), said: “The idea is to bring in transparency and rule out corruption at any level. When you hand over a cheque, there is always a chance that the money may not reach the final beneficiary.”
A case in point could be the incident wherein, despite the cheques being issued by the state government, the scholarship money had not reached the students.
The finance department’s software has also been upgraded. Consequently, the budgetary payments to the departments can be processed within four days instead of the earlier 7-10 days. “This will help the departments to utilise the funds meant for development faster and throughout the year instead of them being held till the end of the financial year,” added Agarwal.
Last year, the departments had not expended nearly 50% of their budgets till the first week of February.
The department also plans to link the salaries of all government employees — approximately 15 lakh — including the state secretariat, the district level and the village level staff and teachers through their UID numbers.
The state government spends nearly 44% of its revenue on salary payments. Weeding out fake identities would go a long way in reducing the burden on the state government.