Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Wednesday that the new electronic bill processing (e-Bill) system – which was announced in the budget – will help reduce delays in payment processing and that all claims from contractors and suppliers would be settled digitally.
The electronic invoice processing system was launched on Wednesday and will be implemented in all ministries and central departments. Suppliers and subcontractors will now be able to submit their complaint online, which will be traceable in real time.
Speaking on the 46th Civil Accounts Day, Ms Sitharaman said it would ensure end-to-end digitization and make the payment process transparent by using technology not only within government departments but extending the second stage to use by citizens.
The e-invoice processing system will also close even ‘every small window available’ for ‘rent-seeking misuse’ as a contractor or government supplier will be able to file claims digitally, the finance minister said . .
“Append your application with digital signatures, and you don’t have to visit government offices. Your payment comes to you as soon as your application arrives with a digital signature,” Ms Sitharaman said.
Civilian Accounts Officers, she said, ensured that the common man who works with the government will not have to wait months, or even go to meet officials, asking for their dues to be released.
Giving details of the e-Bill system, Additional Comptroller General of Accounts Dharitri Panda said that currently claimants are required to submit physical copies of invoices to departments for review. With the e-Bill initiative, applicants would be able to submit digitally signed invoices and check status without visiting offices.
The e-Bill system has been deployed on a pilot basis in eight ministries. It will be implemented in all ministries and departments in a phased manner in 2022-23.