December 6, 2016 02:17 AM NPT
e-payment likely to begin from Jan 1
KATHMANDU, Dec 6: The Financial Comptroller General Office (FCGO) has begun the process to procure IT services for its office for starting e-payment system. Once the procurement is done, FCGO will be able to make e-payment to firms selling products and services to different government agencies.
FCGO had planned to rollout the e-payment system in mid-July. But the plan did not materialize after its four IT engineers, which were recruited on contract basis, refused to renew their contracts. It forced the FCGO to procure IT services from consulting firms.
Once the new system comes into effect, firms selling products and services to government agencies will get payment directly into their bank accounts, eliminating the time consuming process of releasing payments. Reform in the payment process is expected to curb corruption issues as it eliminates the physical presence of recipient and official who makes the payment.
Deputy Financial Comptroller General Yadu Nath Bhattarai told Republica that they have already received bids from six firms. “We will select one qualified firm very soon,” Bhattarai said, adding: “We have targeted to start e-payment system as a trial from Singha Durbar-based payment center under District Treasury Comptroller Office Kathmandu from January 1.”
The selected consulting firm will manage overall IT needs of FCGO.
Under the new system, government agencies requesting FCGO for payments will have to fill up a form. Based on the form, the payment center will release payment to the bank account of the recipient using interbank payment system. FCGO will release payments within few hours of receiving hard copies of invoices from different government agencies.
“We will monitor the entire process so that the money is deposited in the recipients' bank accounts without any mistake,” added Bhattarai.
FCGO has already connected 75 district treasure controller offices into Treasury Single Account. This means information of all payments can be recorded and retrieved immediately.
FCGO has been making payments through four commercial banks -- Rastriya Banijya Bank Ltd, Nepal Bank Limited, Agricultural Development Bank and Everest Bank Ltd. It failed to implement e-payment system in mid-July also because the Nepal Clearing House Limited (NCHL) had not implemented interbank payment system then.
NCHL implemented the interbank payment system only from mid-August.