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Mukherjee launches Government's e-payment system

October 31, 2011 - New Delhi

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee today formally launched the Central Government's e-payment system.

He said that the commissioning of the e-payment system is a major achievement and indicates Government's strong commitment towards improving efficiency in our financial system, strengthening transparency in operations and introducing reforms for better governance.

The Finance Minister said that the development is particularly significant as e-payment is at the centre of the e-commerce value chain. Mukherjee was speaking after inaugurating the Government e-payment system here today.

Mukherjee stated that there has been considerable progress in the use of electronic payment systems in the financial sector and it has taken the form of internet banking, online payment of taxes and use of debit and credit cards.

He said that introduction of electronic payment products by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) such as Electronic Clearing Service (ECS), National Electronic Fund Transfer (NEFT) and Real Time Gross Settlements (RTGS) have ushered in new ways of payment processing and settlement.

"However, cheques are still the dominant payment instrument in the country and more so in the government sector," he said.

The Finance Minister was happy to note that, using the technological advances in the IT and Banking Sector, the government payment and settlement systems are being modernized for a secure and efficient means of payment to beneficiaries and agencies.

Mukherjee said that the transition from legacy systems to modern IT driven systems is not going to be easy and considerable effort and time will be required to develop a fully compliant and certified IT system. Staff capacity also poses a challenge.

Mukherjee stated that these challenges will have to be managed by training, capacity building, education and communication with stakeholders.

The system will cover eight banks and at the end of this financial year, all the ministries will come under its ambit.

In his concluding remarks, Mukherjee congratulated the organization of the Controller General of Accounts and NIC for implementing a major initiative having a significant impact on the financial sector in the country.

He also complemented all the concerned officers and staff, the banks involved in the process and hoped that the clients and vendors will work together to benefit from this initiative.

He wished all success to the project and hoped that such innovative reforms will continue to support further development in the area of payment system.

The e-payment system has been developed by Controller General of Accounts, Ministry of Finance in collaboration with National Informatics Centre.

Minister of State for Finance Namonarain Meena and Secretary Department of Expenditure were also present on the occasion.


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