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Online file tracking to speed up clearance

Calcutta, Nov. 2: The Mamata Banerjee government has unveiled an online file-tracking system, computer-generated signature for filing VAT and sales tax returns, and e-stamping facilities in 10 registration and stamp revenue directorate offices.

The workflow-based file-tracking system (WFTS), introduced in all wings of the finance department today, will help the government monitor movement of files online, a measure that is expected to speed up decision-making at all levels.

“The facility will enable (other) departments to trace the movement of files sent to the finance department and take necessary follow-up action. The departments, once given access to the WFTS, will also be able to track the movement of files in their own offices,” finance minister Amit Mitra said this afternoon.

By December 1, all departments will have access to the WFTS.

Mitra said the WFTS sought to facilitate online receipt of files and documents, immediate generation of receipts, online despatch of files and flash alerts on urgent files.

The existing process involves large volumes of paper records management and substantial logistics. The new system is expected to reduce turnaround time and processing delays. Not only is the existing system time-consuming, it is also riddled with red tape.

Mitra said the most important feature of the new system was that government functionaries would be able to track a file any time from any place that has Web access.

Computer-generated signatures will eliminate the need to submit printed copies of VAT and sales tax returns, reduce cost of compliance, the chances of misplacement of copies of returns and eliminate the need for storing huge volumes of documents.

The e-stamping facility for depositing stamp duty above Rs 5,000 in 10 directorates of registration and stamp revenue offices in Calcutta, Howrah, Hooghly, North and South 24-Parganas will reduce the possibility of revenue leak because of usage of fake non-judicial stamp papers. It would also ensure proper coordination between the treasury and the Reserve Bank and facilitate instant credit of deposits.