Govt may bring spends on CSSs under central monitoring system

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SummaryThe Union Cabinet will shortly consider a proposal to bring spending on all centrally sponsored schemes under the Central Plan Scheme Monitoring System.

The Union Cabinet will shortly consider a proposal to bring spending on all centrally sponsored schemes (CSSs) under the Central Plan Scheme Monitoring System (CPSMS).

The move is aimed at ensuring effective use of the funds under these schemes, which are 147 in number now. The government also wants to bring the schemes down to 60 for better targetting and efficient delivery.

According to sources, government is planning to spend over R1,600 crore on CPSMS over the next five years. The Cabinet will be urged to sanction the amount for installing the hardware and software for the monitoring system, which would capture real time-based expenditure and reduce idle funds.

A senior government official said the key purpose of the CSS revamp and the monitoring system is to enhance transparency and accountability in public expenditure, which will check leakages and unspent funds within the system.

Under the plan, all implementing agencies — both Central and state government departments — will have to feed comprehensive real-time data to CPSMS on release of funds, right up to the beneficiaries. The facility will be enabled by the Aadhar-linked payments facilitated by the Unique Identification Authority of India. Also, they would have to reconcile their data with that of the core banking solution of all the banks.

Sources say that since restructuring of centrally sponsored schemes could take some time, the CPSMS would right away start monitoring the fund movements under all these schemes.

The scheme will also monitor flow of funds to the lowest level of implementation. So far, the Controller General of Accounts has conducted pilot projects for flagship programmes such as Rural Employment Guarantee Programme, National Rural Health Mission, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan and Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana.

Uniform implementation of CPSMS across all states and its various agencies is expected to be completed in next two years. The CPSMS was introduced by the government in 2008-09 and set up later by the Controller General of Accounts and the Planning Commission.

States like Orissa, Haryana, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala have expressed desire to implement the system at the earliest. This will facilitate payments due to beneficiaries in a timely manner through direct credit.Though it was primarily meant to cover the central schemes, several states are keen that even their welfare programmes are linked to a similar tracking facility.

Currently, the government is focusing on improving the delivery systems, especially in beneficiary linked schemes like Mahatma Gandhi Rural Employment

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