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In Indian federal structure the responsibilities of various layers of government are

clearly delineated. However, in the areas requiring national effort, the Centre cannot
but intervene catalytically to infuse greater dynamism. Government of India tries to
do this through various programmes and polices including the CSS. Central
Government has introduced several schemes in areas that are national priority like
health, education, agriculture, skill development, employment, urban development,
rural infrastructure etc. Several of these sectors fall in the sphere of activity of
States.
In this context role of ICT can be summarized as followsWhat is ICT- Information and Communication Technologies are defined as all
devices, tools, content, resources, forums, and services, digital and those that can
be converted into or delivered through digital forms, which can be deployed for
realising the goals of teaching learning, enhancing access to and reach of resources,
building of capacities, as well as management of the educational system. These will
not only include hardware devices connected to computers, and software
applications, but also interactive digital content, internet and other satellite
communication devices, radio and television services, web based content
repositories, interactive forums, learning management systems, and management
information systems. These will also include processes for digitisation, deployment
and management of content, development and deployment of platforms and
processes for capacity development, and creation of forums for interaction and
exchange.
Inability of the Union ministries to control the execution of the schemes with a view
to ensuring the attainment of the stated objectives in the most cost effective
manner and within the given time-frame, as a result of which, the programmes
continued to be executed in uncontrolled and open-ended manner without
quantitative and qualitative evaluation of delivery.
The controlling Union ministries confined their role to the provision of budget and
release of the funds to the state governments rather mechanically without
reference to the effective utilisation of the funds released earlier in accordance with
the guidelines and capacity of the respective state governments to actually spend
the balance from the previous years and releases during the current year.
The ministries were unable to ensure correctness of the data and facts reported by
the state governments. Overstatement of the figures of physical and financial
performance by the state governments was rampant. No system of accountability
for incorrect reporting and verification of reported performance were in vogue.
The Ministry was more concerned with expenditure rather than the attainment of
the objectives. Large parts of funds were released in the last month of the financial
year, which could not be expected to be spent by the respective state governments
during that financial year.

The state government's attitude to the execution of the programmes was generally
indifferent. They laid emphasis on release of assistance by the ministry rather than
ensuring the quality of expenditure and attainment of the objectives. Misuse of the
funds provided for vulnerable sectors and sections of the society was rampant. The
state governments' attitude towards such misuse was one of unconcern. The
controlling Union ministries had no clue to such misuse. Thus, in many cases, the
figures of expenditure booked in accounts assumed precedence over the bonafide
and propriety of the expenditure.
Nobody could be held responsible for shortfall in performance, poor delivery of
output, wanton abuse of the authority to misuse the funds provided for succour to
the victims of calamity, economic upliftment of the poor Schedules Tribes,
eradication of Malaria, sheltering from the suffering of repeated droughts, etc.

Tracking of Central and State Releases

The present accounting system does not permit effective monitoring of the flow of
resources from Central Ministries to state governments and ultimately to the
implementing agencies. The lack of uniform coding for plan schemes between the
Centre and the States makes it difficult to trace releases under a particular scheme
from the Centre to the ultimate user as it flows through the state budget system. As
a result, the Central Government has direct information on releases made but no
online capability of tracking flow of funds through the State implementing agencies.
Actual expenditure incurred in the field cannot be tracked online and is only known
on the basis of utilisation certificates which take a great deal of time before they
are submitted.
A new multi-dimensional budget and accounting classification being prepared by a
Committee set up by the Ministry of Finance aims at correcting these weaknesses.
The Central Plan Scheme Monitoring System (CPSMS) has been initiated by the
Controller General of Accounts, in collaboration with the Planning Commission, to
serve as a comprehensive management information and decision support system.
CPSMS seeks to have interface with state treasuries and State AGs to obtain real
time expenditure information for schemes for which funds are transferred from the
Central Ministries to the consolidated fund of the states. Thousands of implementing
agencies are proposed to be integrated through Core Banking Solution (CBS) of the
individual banks so that fund movement is tracked at each successive stage starting
with the initial release from the Centre till the money actually reaches the ultimate
beneficiaries.
When fully implemented, the CPSMS will provide online information of fund
deployment and utilization vertically under each scheme down to the implementing
agencies in the field and also horizontally across schemes in one geographic area.
Inputs provided by the system would be vital for programme management and
policy planning. The information on fund utilization could also be placed in the

public domain for greater public awareness, public participation in the policy making
and execution and towards enhanced transparency in Government operations.
These societies must be brought under the discipline of CPSMS. They must also be
made subject to CAG audit, which can be done if it is built into the guidelines of the
scheme.