Some of the major developments that took place in this period of five years are narrated below.
New Pension Scheme:
New pension Scheme, using DCI number, was launched by the Pension Directorate. While Pension Directorate had a massive task of allotment of DCI numbers to thousands of employees covered by the scheme and the maintenance of accounts of their deductions and matching government contribution, the treasury had to make suitable provision in its system so that master file of NPS employees, as provided by pension directorate, could be uploaded on treasury computers, specified employee contribution could be made and the vouchers of matching government contribution could be generated. Interface was developed between the treasury system and the NPS system of Pension Directorate so that the NPS files generated by treasury system could be used by the Pension Directorate. This arrangement worked very smoothly till NSDL took it over.
Sixth Pay Commission Pension Revision:
Meanwhile, recommendations of sixth pay commission were implemented by the State Government. Being a computerized system, the treasury had to make several changes to cater to the needs of pension revision, pay revision and pay bill preparation as per the recommendations of 6th Pay Commission. At present treasuries are disbursing pension to more than 100 categories of pensioners, including the pensioners of civil, central, Defence, other states, railway, AIS, etc. It developed that pension revision will not be done individual pensioner wise, instead, software will be developed for each and every category to make revision of pension and to calculate arrears of pension, so that all pensioners of a particular category can get revised pension and arrears simultaneously without coming to treasury, For this, Government Orders for all categories were studied at FSD level and their main points were made available to NIC of preparation of software. NIC made Customised software for each category, which were tested and distributed to treasuries in the form of patches. More than 50 patches were sent in this period to 75 treasuries and treasuries did commendable job of not only loading and running these patches without any technical support, but also revising pension and disbursing arrears with the help of computers for the first time.
Changes in IPAO for Pay Bill Preparation as per 6th PC’s Recommendations:
As we are aware, most of the offices of State Government get their pay bills prepared in respective treasuries, and for NPS employees it is now mandatory. Therefore, implementation of recommendations of 6th pay commission created an urgent need for modification in the pay bill preparation module according to new system of grade pay, pay bands, new GIS rates, uniform increment date on 1st July, etc. Several new reports were created and several modifications in old reports were also made in this period as per requirement of AGUP.
e-Scroll’ of Receipt:
Efforts were being made for quite some time to get electronic scroll of receipt from the bank, which could be uploaded on treasury computers so that the work and time consumed in Challan posting could be saved. Structures of related tables were already shared with the bank way back, but it was in this period that some progress in this field could be made and the bank started providing receipt scroll in soft copy. After overcoming some initial problems, the system is now running smoothly.
Interface with AG:
Efforts were also being made to persuade AGUP to accept the accounts of treasuries in soft copy and upload them on their system, instead of making data entry of vouchers all over again. Interface was developed between the AG system and the Treasury system and now soft copy of account is being accepted by AG.
Lapsed Deposit Module: Module of Lapsed deposits was also developed in compliance of the IT audit recommendations. In this module, the treasuries had to mark the deposits of their treasuries, which get lapsed and for which lapsed statement etc. are required to be maintained at treasury level.
Password policy was also introduced in compliance of IT audit. Now the length and structure of passwords of users were determined and their duration was also fixed, after which they were to expire if not changed.
Form 24G, 24Q for Income tax:
Income tax department introduced a rule, according to which the treasury was to file a quarterly report in form 24G, of tax deductions made at source by various DDOs from payments made by them through bills and Cheques passed in treasuries. The Income Tax department was to reconcile this information given by treasury, with the information furnished by respective DDOs in their quarterly report filed in form 24Q. Manually it was almost impossible for the treasuries to prepare such a report, and therefore, option for generation of 24G was provided in treasury software. Option for generation of form 24Q was also provided for treasuries as they were deducting tax from treasury staff, the pensioners and the Self Drawing Officers and it was getting increasingly difficult for them to prepare 24Q manually.
NSDL takes over NPS:
New pension scheme, which was being run by the Pension Directorate so far, was taken over by NSDL, who was now entrusted the task of registering NPS employees and maintaining the record of their contributions. The old DCI number was replaced with new PRAN. Treasury had to once again develop interface with the NSDL system. The major difference in the new system was the NSDL was not ready to interact with 6000 odd DDOs who actually make the deductions. Instead, they made 75 treasuries as their nodal centers and involved them in every activity, right from downloading subscribers’ details from NSDL website to uploading subscriber’s and government contributions details on their site. Initially, there was a lot of problem faced by treasuries as the format of NSDL files kept changing and treasuries had to struggle a lot in the whole process. Several rounds of meeting were held with the officials of NSDL, NIC, Pension Directorate, Treasury Directorate and FSD to resolve the problems and gradually the things started working.
FMIS – The Central Budget Allotment System:
FMIS, a web based budget allotment system through central server, was introduced to do away with the drawbacks of old decentralized system of budget allotment by BCOs to DDOs. The system initially covered 26 grants and subsequently it was made applicable to almost all grants w.e.f. 1st April, 2013. In this system, all FCs or BCOs were to register themselves as "Super-User" and get their user ID and passwords from FSD. Using this ID and Passwords the super-users could Logon to the web based system called FMIS, and make allotments online. These online allotments got transmitted to respective treasuries and were uploaded on treasury servers and thus, the manual entry of budget allotment orders totally stopped in treasuries. The G.O. for implementation of this scheme was issued only on 26th Feb 2013 and all concerned departments were to be trained and registered by FSD before the commencement of next financial year, i.e. 1st April 2013. Moreover, police and judiciary were also covered under the scheme and training of High Court Officers was to be imparted in Allahabad itself. This mammoth task was successfully accomplished by FSD in time, and the scheme took off very smoothly.
While the schemes of NSDL and FMIS were yet to be stabilized, another ambitious scheme of e-payment was launched by the government which envisaged use of internet banking for making all types of payments by treasuries. Initially the system proposed by SBI for making e-payments had no linkage with the treasury system and the transaction ID generated by SBI net banking system were to be entered manually in treasury system. To overcome this shortcoming, a token number was generated at treasury level at the time of bill receiving, which was to be used as a link between the two systems. Another software was developed by NIC, to be used by DDOs, for generation of the beneficiary file having details of beneficiaries along with their account numbers, and the transaction file having details of amounts to be paid and the token number generated against the bill. All DDOs were required to register themselves in the bank and get the login ID and password for net banking. DDOs were then required to generate the beneficiary and the transaction files using NIC software and upload them on the bank web site. On final authorization by Treasury Officer, the amount was credited in the account of beneficiary. Though, this was a major breakthrough in the field of e-governance, the system still has some major problems which is needed to be addressed for making if foolproof.
Website of UPFAS:
A Portal of the U.P. finance and Accounts Service was launched by Treasury Directorate, giving the details of all officers of the service, their posting details, etc. The status of their ACR is also supposed to be available on the site.
All 78 treasuries of U.P. are currently working in decentralized mode having their own application and data servers. Though the data of treasuries is fetched on "Koshvani" server on hourly basis, the decentralized system has its limitations. It was, therefore, decided to have a central server of treasuries under the mission mode project of Central Government. Launch of new schemes like e-payment and centralized budget allotment system also prompted the switch over to centralized architecture. The process of installing the central server and the backup server of treasuries is in progress and shortly we will be in a position to overcome a number of problems which are arising due to decentralized system.
After the installation of central server, the workload at the headquarter level support team is going to increase manifold. Therefore, it is essential to strengthen the core group of officers at this level, so that they can handle this work load and run the system smoothly.
Another ambitious project is that of launching a web based system for government receipts, which provides the facility of making payments of government taxes, free and other dues online. In future, this scheme can have far reaching effects in streamlining government receipt.
It is evident from the above discussion that a lot of progress has been made in the field of computerization of treasuries and e-governance in financial administration in this period, but, a lot more is to be done in this direction in the coming years.