To disburse the wages to NREGA (National Rural Employment Gurantee Act) workers, the Department of Posts in India, in collaboration with National Informatics Centre (NIC) and Bharat Sanchar Nigam (BSNL) is working towards establishing an electronic payment system.
Under this system, NREGA workers would open their accounts in the nearest post offices for payments of their wages.
To ensure smooth transfer of the amount it is decided that it would be electronically transferred and directly credited into the accounts of the workers without any manual intervention.
For identification of the people who stand to get the benefits of such a move the Department of Posts would be providing smart cards at the time of opening of accounts. These cards would work as their ID cards as well as the electronic pass book. These cards would also feature the photograph of the worker to avoid any misuse.
One of the chief features of the software being implemented for the electronic payment system is to ensure security for the payment made from the mobile phone being used at the post office to the central server.
A pilot implementation of this system is planned to be executed in select districts of Orissa by December 2008. The post offices in the country have opened more than 110 lakh accounts in the name of NREGA workers to facilitate timely payment of wages to these workers.