Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday said that government money cannot be indefinitely parked in centrally sponsored schemes as it leads to inefficiencies and impedes growth. He said these funds should not lie idle with the states.
The government has developed Public Financial Management System (PFMS), also known as Central Plan Scheme Monitoring System (CPSMS), which tracks fund disbursement under centrally sponsored schemes and ensures that state treasuries are integrated with Centre.
“Each one of the technological advancements that you have made in PFMS which predominantly deals with the expenditure of the government under the central sector schemes all over the country and states, integrating the two so that we are able to trace out and track the money that is meant for a particular purpose is being spent for that purpose,” Jaitley said while inaugurating new official premises of the Controller General of Account (CGA), which has developed the PFMS.
Joining the PFMS is voluntary and the government expects all states to join the system by March 2017. The PFMS does not track state government schemes. This system will help the Centre track how its funds are being used.
PFMS-state treasury interfaces have been completed for nine states, including Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Puducherry, Rajasthan, Assam, Uttar Pradesh and Kerala while 15 more states are expected to be covered in next few months.
Jaitley appreciated the role of the CGA in handling the growing volume of government revenue and expenditure through IT initiatives like the PFMS (Public Financial management System) and NTRP (Non Tax Receipt Portal). The finance minister pointed out the importance of data analytics in assessing the quality of government expenditure and revenue.
Later, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between the Controller General of Accounts and the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) aimed at strengthening the internal audit function in line ministries and government departments.
Jaitley also launched a web portal that will help around 12 lakh government pensioners to track their status of pension online. The portal will also help in resolving grievances through SMS as well as monitor receipts online and enable them to view their complete pension profile digitally by logging into http://www.cpao.nic.in.
“Nobody should be harassed, least of all pensioners because they are mostly senior citizens. And they need that resource and their life depends on that resource. So any delay or red tapism can actually cause a lot of harassment if not destitution,” Jaitley said.
The website can also be accessed through mobile devices. This portal has been developed by the Central Pension Accounting Office (CPAO) under the CGA.