Chhattisgarh’s tryst with digitisation

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Dr Kamal Preet Singh

Chhattisgarh’s Department of Industries and Finance today offers its all services online including payment of monthly bills. Even the land allotment system is online, says Dr Kamal Preet Singh, Secretary, Department of Industries and Finance, Government of Chhattisgarh, in conversation with Susmriti Sahu of Elets News Network (ENN).

How Chhattisgarh government is bringing the big change? What are the focus areas?
We are focussing on infrastructural development, social welfare and health sector in particular. We are utilising State’s money in various
Central Government housing schemes as well. Our focus is to provide housing for all in the State.

Which Government services have you digitised so far?
We have digitised many public services recently. Every department is digitising their services in the State. We have started a common platform for all the digitised services called Lok Seva Kendra. It’s an e-district project where services like birth certificate, caste certificate etc, are integrated.

Registration for driving licenses has been made online by the transport department as well. You can even register your property online.
The industries department has also started giving many services online. We are trying to push every service on digital platform so that people do not have to visit the Government offices anymore.
In addition to providing e-governance, we are also trying to fix a delivery timeline. Under the Right to Services Act, more than 300 services are online. For the financial inclusion, we are making Cooperative Banks install micro ATMs. We have also provided theseservices through Common Service Centres (CSEs).
We are also ensuring Aadhaar seeding. We are authenticating beneficiaries in food, National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA), school, social security and pension database etc. We are also authenticating farmers who sell their paddy to the Government. Public financial management system which is an upcoming payment system of the Government of India scheme will make use of Aadhaar to
disseminate payments. Aadhaar will check the beneficiary duplication and delivery of financial benefits by using Direct Benefit Transfer system.
Mobile seeding– We are also linking mobile numbers through Aadhaar. For example, Rs 2,100 crore paddy bonus has been distributed to farmers and were informed through a sms. Rupay card activation- Rupay card is a type of debit card. We are trying to improve its distribution across the State.
Jan Dhan Yojana- Under Jan Dhan Yojana, more than 1.28 crore bank accounts have been opened in our State and and it is higher as
compared to the national average. Almost 45 per cent of the State population has been covered under Aadhaar. It is double the national average and almost all the families who wanted minimum one account have been covered under this scheme. Now the challenge is to ensure banking services at their doorstep. We are trying to expand banking services through bank mitras or micro ATMs of Cooperative banks and other institutions because the banking coverage is slightly limited in the State specially in the Left Wing Effected areas. The average balance in our State’s Jandhan account holder is around Rs 1,450. Around 75 per cent of the accounts are operational and we are trying to get bank accounts to every hook and corner of the State.

What is the scope of industrial development in Chhattisgarh?
The Chhattisgarh Government is promoting development of sunrise sectors such as food processing, textiles, packaging and logistics.
If anybody wants to set up an industry in Chhattisgarh, he can find most of the services online. Exemption in stamp duty is also online. Incentives like land premium capital subsidy, electricity etc, have been made online. There is a Service Guarantee Act of State in which every service has a definite timeframe of completion. It varies from 24 days to 30 days. If still the services are not delivered, then the concerned official has to give an explanation for that. There is even a penalty clause for this.

Since 2011, we have made the commerical tax return filing online. Even payment of monthly bills, etc is online. Industries department is having online payment systems as well. We have online land allotment system since 2015 which is GIS based. We have started land banks in different districts for industrial use which can be tracked through GIS based maps. Land for industrial use can be booked online. Earlier, people used to visit our offices for registry but online system has improved the ease of doing business here.

What is the role of Government e-market (GeM) portal?
GeM is a dynamic portal which is fully integrated like an online market place. It gives you real time information of prices of various goods and services. It is being developed as more user-friendly, reliable and integrated with Government payment systems. For vendors, it is useful as everything including inspection,payments etc is now streamlined on a single platform. On the Government front, it has minimised the usage of manpower causing timely execution.

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