The Indian Government has launched an e-payment system, which would facilitate direct credit of dues from the Government of India into the account of beneficiaries using digitally signed electronic advice (e-advice) through the ‘Government e-Payment Gateway’ (GePG). The system has been developed by the Controller General of Accounts (CGA), Department of Expenditure, and Ministry of Finance
According to a statement by the Government, the Government e-Payment Gateway (GePG) is a portal which enables the successful delivery of payment services from Pay & Accounts Offices (PAOs) for online payment into beneficiaries’ accounts in a seamless manner under a secured environment.
It claims that the system will also bring transparency and expedite direct payments from central paying units relating to subsidies to the users and consumers of fertilizer, kerosene and cooking gas which is a declared objective of the government. The government feels that this will increase the adoption of other e-services due to its efficiency and ease-of-use for all Central Government Ministries and Departments for online payment transactions.
How It Works:
The digitally signed e-advices uploaded by the PAOs on GePG portal will be downloaded by the concerned banks to credit the beneficiaries’ accounts through CBS/NEFT/RTGS as applicable. The system will also have online reconciliation of transactions and efficient compilation of payment accounts.
This would help the Government credit payments directly to beneficiaries including existing and retired Government employees, contractors and other entities that receive payments from the government, without involving conventional payment instruments such as cheques and demand drafts, and thus save time and constraints of manual deposit. It will certainly make the system more transparent as the mid-level agency would not be needed. Also, the government will save on interest payments as payments would be on time.
Earlier, there were also reports that the government has plans to launch a digital payment gateway for e-governance services across 11 states in the country, by March 2012 to link 20 services from both central and state governments. Perhaps there is a plan to extend this to states as well, but why should it be restricted to e-governance services only?