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Central Public Works Department of India launches web-based tool for real-time monitoring of projects

Central Public Works Department of India launches web-based tool for real-time monitoring of projects

On 13 April 2018, the Indian Minister of State for Housing
& Urban Affairs, Mr Hardeep Puri, launched Smart
Imprest Cards & e-Measurement Book (e-MB) on the Public Financial
Management System (PFMS) portal
for the Central Public Works Department (CPWD).
The Smart Imprest Cards will help to drive 100 per cent digitisation of
payments, while e-MB will enable monitoring the financial expenditure as well
as physical progress of all projects undertaken by the CPWD.

The PFMS links the financial networks of Central, State
Governments and the agencies of State Governments and it acts as a financial
management platform for all plan schemes of the central and state governments. 

CPWD, under the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA), is the central government’s comprehensive construction
management department, which provides services from project concept to
completion, consultancy and maintenance management. CPWD executes around 15,000
Projects/works across the country involving annual payments of Rs 150-250
billion (US$ 2.3- 3 billion) every year through its 400 field offices located
all over the country, including in remote and hilly regions of the
country.

Towards 100% digital
payments

CPWD has been undergoing a major digital transformation. All
of the 400 field offices of CPWD across the country were networked by rolling
out a special integrated web-based system of PFMS ensuring digital payments and
accounting, with effect from July 2017. According to the government’s
media release, with this CPWD has become the first organisation of any civil
ministry to become 100% digital at the field level. 

CPWD also became the first field organisation in the Civil
Ministries to achieve nearly 100% digitisation of payments in July 2017.  Around
97% of payments made in MoHUA were through cashless/digital mode. However, 2-3%
payments were still being made through issue of cheques. This included around
8000 cheques issued for Imprest (imprest refers to a fund used by a business
for small items of expenditure and restored to a fixed amount periodically, such
as petty cash) related cash payments.

The launch of Smart Imprest cards, coupled with the
end-to-end process digitisation, is aimed towards boosting digital payments towards
hundred per cent.

MoHUA is partnering
with three accredited banks, namely Axis bank for the main Ministry, SBI for
CPWD and IDBI bank for Printing for the roll out of the cards across India. 

Real-time monitoring
of financial and physical progress of projects

A special CDDO (Cheque Drawing and Disbursing Officer; CDDO
is authorised to draw bills and make payment on behalf of the Government) module
of PFMS for CPWD has been developed by the PFMS team of Controller General of
Accounts (CGA), Ministry of Finance.  This CDDO module is an advanced online web based end-to-end
integrated system/solution of e-payments, e-accounting, along with a Management
Information System.  This module enables real-time monitoring of expenditure
in respect of all CPWD projects thereby ensuring, greater transparency and
accountability. 

In addition to the above, a process was initiated to digitise
the Schedule of Agreements and Measurement Book to track physical progress of
works/projects implemented by CPWD.

The e-MB module on the PFMS Portal will be the first
integrated web-based module to monitor both the financial progress i.e. the utilisation
of funds, along with related physical progress captured as per schedule
of various items of works through e-MB in all projects/works
undertaken by CPWD. The e-MB module is expected to facilitate better
comprehensive results-based monitoring of CPWD works/projects on a real time
basis. This is said to be in line with a shift in the Government of India’s
emphasis from “Outlays” to result-oriented “Outputs and Outcomes”.

A Pilot run of the e- MB module for all projects costing
more than Rs 1.5 million (US$ 23,000) has been implemented in all CPWD
Divisions in Delhi region. Based on the success of the trial and stabilization of
the system, it is proposed to roll out E-MB module in all 400 CPWD offices in
the country.