Punjab local bodies to launch paperless governance drive from October 1

Bhagwant Mann

In order to provide people seamless services through e-governance, the Local Government Department in Punjab is all set to launch a drive towards gradual paperless governance from October 1. The Local Government Department and PMIDC organized a “Consultative Workshop on Municipal Accounting Reforms Transparency, Robust Finances, and Future Growth” on Thursday.

Addressing various officials present at the conference, Principal Secretary Local Government Mr. Vivek Pratap Singh said, that Punjab government is keen to implement the ‘Double Entry Based Accrual Accounting’ (DEBAA), hence the department has initiated municipal financial reforms for transparency in urban local services, strengthening financial management, removing financial deficiencies and future-oriented development.

He informed that after implementing online system DEBAA, the department and its wings spread across the state will be easily audited, prior budget proposals can be made effortlessly and officials posted at two places will be able to easily work at both their places. With this, the municipal financial reforms will further strengthen transparency and financial management in urban local services, he said, adding that after implementing DEBAA properly in Punjab; daily account closing will be mandatory, opening balances of all cities will be compiled and new and latest software will be rolled out. He said that this system will increase transparency in Urban Governance, make cities creditworthy, decrease the chances of misuse of municipal properties, and make budget formation and finance management more efficient for administrators.

The Officers of e-Gov foundation, NIC and Examiner Local Fund Audit (ELFA) took part in the Conference to understand software requirements.

During the conference, the officials of PMIDC and Local Government also listened to the needs and demands of field officers and CAs who deal with Municipal Financing on a daily basis. Apart from this, introduction of Double Entry Based Accrual Accounting (DEBAA) in cities in Punjab, an overview of the Punjab Municipal Accounting Manual, planning for rolling out DEBAA in cities by taking feedback from field staff, software management with regard to mSeva; looking at a new horizon of software with NIC and eGov Foundation were discussed. Mr. Ravikant Joshi, Ex-CAO, Vadodara MC, presently consultant on Municipal Accounting with World Bank and CRISIL delivered the keynote address.