Electronic transfer of wages to bank accounts of beneficiaries under Central flagship programme - Mahatma Gandhi National Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) - in Odisha is expected to be extended to all blocks by October this year.
The electronic benefit transfer facility rolled out on Friday jointly by Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the state government has covered Ganjam, Gajapati and Mayurbhanj districts apart from Bolagarh block under Khurda district from the inaugural day.
This is the first of its kind initiative wherein RBI is partnering a state government for direct disbursement of MGNREGA wages to the bank accounts of beneficiaries.
“The beneficiaries of MGNREGA in Odisha were having bank accounts as well as post office accounts. But there was delay in crediting wages to their accounts by 2-3 months. Also, there were cases of leakages. Under the electronic benefit scheme, money will be credited to the bank accounts of beneficiaries within three days. Many states were attempting to start this initiative through partnership with RBI but Odisha has taken the lead,” said Harun Rashid Khan, Deputy Governor of RBI after launching the facility.
J K Mohapatra, principal secretary (finance) and P K Jena, secretary (panchayati raj) were present at the launch.
MGNREGA wages will be transferred to the bank accounts of beneficiaries through the Regional Electronic Clearing Service provided by RBI-Bhubaneswar.
The implementation of the facility is expected to drastically cut down the delays in payment of wages to MGNREGA and also bring about transparency in the system apart from resulting in savings in operational costs.
Over six million households registered in the state under MGNREGA will benefit from the facility. The RBI Deputy Governor also rolled out an improved model of electronic receipts of the state government. The new model envisages a mechanism where the agency banks will forward the particulars of electronic receipt transactions on the day following the day of transaction to RBI-Bhubaneswar instead of sending to the cyber treasury.
RBI will process the e-receipt files, debit the accounts of banks and credit the account of the state government instantaneously with the amount of e-receipts. The Central bank will also generate e-scrolls and forward the same to the cyber treasury.
This system would ensure close monitoring of reporting of e-receipts by banks, quick credit to the government account and elimination of reconciliation problems.