All panchayats across the country will mandatorily use digital payments for all development work and collection of revenue starting from August 15, 2023, and will be declared UPI-enabled, a letter released by the Panchayati Raj Ministry said.
The ministry said in a letter issued to States and Union territories that States have been given the responsibility to announce and inaugurate the UPI-compliant panchayats in the presence of prominent dignitaries, like chief ministers, MPs, and MLAs.
According to Sunil Kumar, a Secretary in Panchayati Raj Ministry, he said almost 98 percent of panchayats have already shifted to UPI-based payments. He further added that payments worth approximately Rs 1.5 lakh crore have been made through the Public Financial Management System. The payments to all the panchayats will be made digitally from now onwards. Largely, payments through cheques and cash have been stopped.
The ministry has shared a list with the details of contact persons from several UPI platforms like GPay, PhonePay, Paytm, WhatsApp Pay, BHIM, Amazon Pay, MobiKwik, and Bharat Pe. The ministry has also asked all the panchayats to hold meetings with the shared service providers and vendors on June 30.
The time frame has been set up by the ministry for the panchayats to select appropriate service providers by July 15 and submit their vendor selections by July 30.
In order to take benefits of economies of scale, panchayats have also been asked by the ministry to choose a single vendor who will serve the entire region. Ministry has also advised a unified dashboard for tracking transactions in real time.
In a statement, the Ministry of State for Panchayati Raj Kapil Moreshwar Patil said promoting digital payment will end corruption. He said, in order to provide training to the officials, the training camps will be set up at every district and block level. He further added, most of the panchayats have been using digital payments which helped them in checking corruption. Everything has gone digital now from planning to payment.
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