E-payments likely for all govt depts from April

Written by Sitanshu Swain | Mumbai | Updated: Nov 25 2011, 06:53am hrs
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is likely to make it mandatory for all government transactions to be done through the electronic mode with effect from April 1, 2012. Also, all government entities may have to bear the charges for mandatory cheque payments, from or by the public.

These are among the issues likely to be taken up by a high-powered committee, headed by financial services secretary DK Mittal, as part of an exercise to overhaul the country's payment system. Also, if the recommendations come through, India Inc could soon be able to transact R10 lakh, up from the current R5lakh, through the real-time gross settlement (RTGS) route.

The panel has on board experts from the RBI and consulting bodies, such as Boston Consulting Group(BCG), McKinsey & Company and Ernst & Young. It will review the existing legal, regulatory and institutional framework for the payment system. The panel will suggest measures to ensure all large-value payments are processed only through the electronic payment system. As per the likely recommendations, all payments over R10 lakh would be done through RTGS and those below it via National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT).

The panel will consider making NEFT function on a 24x7 basis and may also propose setting call centres to handle grievances.