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Friday, November 16, 2012

Statewide launch of e-FMS for MGNREGA wage payments

BHUBANESWAR: Five months after launching the e-fund management system (e-FMS) in Ganjam, Gajapati and Mayurbhanj districts to speed up payment of wages to workers employed under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), the state government on Thursday rolled out the service in other parts of the state.
Through e-FMS, wages will be electronically credited directly to the beneficiaries' bank accounts a day after the transaction, doing away with the erstwhile time-consuming payment system.
The use of information technology also rules out role of middlemen. Earlier, there were complaints of delay in wage payment and middlemen eating into labourers' share.
"The full-fledged introduction of e-FMS will reduce delay in payment and eliminate middlemen menace. We can monitor the payment system electronically," said secretary of Panchayati Raj department Aparajita Sarangi.
On the launch day of e-FMS, Rs 1,305,805 was credited to the accounts of a number of beneficiaries.
There are about 62 lakh MGNREGA job cardholders in Odisha. While 57% of them get their wages through banks, others get their money via postal department. "Those beneficiaries, having accounts in post offices, would soon be covered under e-FMS. We have already started the initiative but there are some problems," said state finance secretary J K Mohapatra.
The Reserve Bank of India's deputy governor H R Khan said banks have been asked to open as many ATMs in rural areas for making money-withdrawal convenient for beneficiaries.
Though the Centre had piloted e-FMS in Karnataka, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Odisha in 2010, Odisha is the first to roll out the service after its successful dry run at Sheragada block in Ganjam district in 2010-11. RBI's Khan had introduced the scheme in Ganjam, Gajapati and Mayurbhanj on June 29 this year.

Source : The Times of India

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