Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday said government money cannot be indefinitely parked in schemes as it leads to inefficiencies and impedes growth.
Speaking at the inauguration of a webportal for pensioners, he said release of government money should be calibrated with utilisation and it cannot be allowed to lie idle with states.
“You cannot have indefinite parking of government money at various ends because that itself not only leads to inefficiency, but also leads to impediment to growth,” he said.
The Public Financial Management System (PFMS), also known as Central Plan Scheme Monitoring System (CPSMS), tracks the fund disbursement and ensures that state treasuries are integrated with Centre to ensure as and when money is required.
“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,” he said.
The web portal for pensioners, launched by Jaitley on Wednesday, will serve as a one-stop destination for providing information and speedy redressal of grievances.
The portal was launched alongside the inauguration of the ‘Mahalekha Niyantrak Bhawan’ – the new official premises of the Office of the Controller General of Accounts (CGA).
Jaitley said serving the pensioners with the web portal is an extremely important initiative. “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.
“And therefore, being able to trace out sitting at one’s home on your own mobile phone, I think is a great facility which is being provided to the pensioners. And I am sure with this advancement it will be a giant step in serving that segment,” he said.
The Web Responsive Pensioner’s Service Portal, developed by the Central Pension Accounting Office (CPAO), will provide a one-stop solution for pensioners to access information relating to status of pension cases, and pension payments processed by the Central Ministries/Departments and the banks.
Controller General of accounts M J Joseph said as per the PFMS roadmap, Centre has identified 9 states in first phase with whom data exchange has already started.
In the second phase, 15 more states will be added for integration and the aim is to integrate all the states by March 2017.
“The idea is to identify where money is lying idle in banks to ensure its efficient utilisation,” Joseph told reporters.
When asked about West Bengal opposing integration of its treasury with the Centre, Joseph said the Expenditure Department has written back to the state requesting them to reconsider.
“We are not concerned about state schemes, we are only concerned about central schemes and how funds are being used,” he said.