The working of the technical wing of Punjab State e-Governance Society (PSEGS) has come under question after a major lapse related to bills raised against applications received by e-Sewa Kendras (SKs) for Learners’ Licences (LL), was observed by the State Transport Commissioner (STC). Bills of over 96 per cent applications, which were never received by the SKs, were also submitted for release of payment.
As per the National Informatics Centre (NIC) report, 13,572 LL applications were received by the SKs via the Sarathi app from December 2019 to May 2020, while bills of 3,69,585 applications were claimed by the PSEGS as a facilitation for these six months — a difference of 3,56,013 applications — which means over 96 per cent applications were never logged on Sarathi but their invoices were raised for payment.
The receiving of applications and issuing LLs by the SKs was started last year and Punjab State e-Governance Society would be paid Rs 50/per LL application as facilitation changes.
A letter dated July 2 from the Member Secretary, Punjab State Transport Society cum State Transport Commissioner Dr Amarpal Singh, to General Manager (Technical), Punjab State e-Governance Society, Vinesh Gautam, stated that, “the count of applications mentioned in the invoice for LL applications received through SKs in the state is not correct. There is a major mismatch of the amount between claimed by your office in the invoices for the month from December 2019 to May 2020 and amount payable by us as per the NIC report”.
General Manager (PSEGS), had written a letter to the STC to release Rs 1.84 crore from December 2019 to May against LLs as facilitation charges for 3,69,585 applications, though for 13,572 applications, the amount to be claimed would be Rs 6.78 lakh.
According to this letter, for December, 57,302 applications were claimed against 621 logged on Sarathi by SKs. Similarly in January February, March, April and May, 59,754 applications, 1,42,5109 applications, 1,03206 applications, 410 applications, and 6,385 applications were claimed, as against 4,439, 4,719, 3,351, 22, and 420 applications received by SKs.
The STC asked the society to fix responsibility/take appropriate action against the concerned staff who have raised an inflated invoices and resubmit the correct claim to this office.
‘Accountant calculated applications received from SDM, RTA offices as well’
General Manager PSEGS (Technical) Vinesh Gautam told The Indian Express that when bills of six months were generated, the accountant calculated all LL applications which were received across SKs, SDM offices and Regional Transport Authority (RTA) offices, when actually only applications received by SKs were to be generated for bills.
“The LL service was started for the first time, due to which some misunderstanding took place. We are rectifying it and will send fresh bills,” said Gautam, adding that currently, LL service has been started only at the 20 per cent of the SKs across Punjab and remaining SKs will provide this service to the people in the coming months. STC Dr Singh, said, “PSEGS is our sister concern and there is nothing to be worried about. Even if the money was released to it, it would have gone to our internal department.”
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