BACKGROUND Government of India in the Ministry of Rural Development has introduced Electronic Fund Management System (e-FMS) as a special financial solution for expeditious payment of wages to the job card holders working under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act In the MoRD server maintained by the NIC, Delhi and run through NREGASoft, a special window has been created to cater to the e-FMS needs of the states
BACKGROUND Government of India requires all the states to switch over to e-FMS to ensure speedier payment of wages The new system is supposed to reduce chances of pilferage and make the payment system more transparent Government of West Bengal has taken a decision to switch over to e-FMS in a phased manner starting with a small pilot in one full block in April 2013 The intention is to roll out e-FMS across the state by end of June 2013
PRE-REQUISITES FOR E-FMS Electronic Fund Management System is at the end of a process of use of ICT for MGNREGA implementation. Pre-requisites of e-FMS are Use of NREGASoft in complete online mode Use of Electronic Muster Rolls for capturing attendance Complete ICT enabled environment at the level of all Project Implementing Agencies (PIA) Use of Digital Signature Certificates (DSC) by the functionaries
STEP-I Identify area for pilot intervention Preferably one block Completely online Using e-Musters only Mostly Bank accounts Preferably in Nationalized Banks Strong internet connectivity in all the Gram Panchayats The block and the GP teams having strong commitment to transparency, quality and innovations
STEP-2 For identified pilot block Open accounts for all active households, individually for all members Verify all active accounts Name of the worker and account no. Bank Branch IFSC Job Card Number On validation take those as the only accounts for all transactions against the wage seekers in question (in e-FMS term this is known as freezing of accounts)
STEP-3 Initiate the process of procurement of Digital Signature Certificates (DSC) for all identified signatories DSC is to be procured by name for all individual users For procurement of DSC, we would be requiring details of all the proposed signatories Prepare guidelines drawing money through e-FMS Arrange extensive training for all functionaries
STEP-4 Open a specific e-FMS account in the SEGF Earmark some amount for the e-FMS account Identify a leader bank for management of the e-FMS account and technical interaction with the MoRD server In association with the banks, open accounts for all the wage seekers and validate the existing accounts
ACTIVITY FLOW Gram Panchayat (GP) to register demand and allocate work Programme Officer (PO) to generate e- Musters GP to print e-Musters Attendance to be taken in the field by using e-Musters only Measurement to be taken, preferably by using e-MB
ACTIVITY FLOW The PIA to generate wage-lists Single list for single work, whatever be the bank of the wage seekers If there are accounts of wage seekers in Post Offices, separate wage list may be required The PIA to generate FTO (There will be single FTO for a PIA on a day, irrespective of the number of works/ banks/ branches etc.) First signatory to verify and authenticate The Second signatory to approve/ reject
ACTIVITY FLOW The FTO travels directly to NREGASoft and gets deposited into the e-FMS depositpry The leader bank to pick the FTO up and segregate bank-wise Concerned banks to segregate branch-wise (The task of segregation, both bank-wise and branch-wise may also be done by the leader bank. In such a situation, other banks will only be the recipients.) Once the amount is deposited into the wage seeker account, mostly on the same day when the FTO is generated by the PIA, or on the next day, the wage seeker is free to withdraw money from the account
ACTIVITY FLOW PIA is to wait for a day to see whether all the authentications are accepted by the system If so, enter the transactions in the cash book, both on receipt and payment sides If not, write the accepted amount only in the cash book Seek reasons for rejection Rectify Regenerate the rejected portion of the FTO after rectification which will be taken as a fresh FTO for the reconciled amount.
•WHAT NEXT? e-FMS ensures expeditious deposit of wage earned into the account of the wage seekers But we need to ensure that the wage seeker can withdraw money from her account whenever she wishes With minimum travel Without any hassles Here comes the issue of financial inclusion The FIP (financial Inclusion Plan) of the banks are to be vigorously pursued to ensure all wage seekers have accounts and can get financial services at the doorstep Business Correspondents and Local Service Points might be the solution. This has to be explored.