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Salary payments set to get easier

- Treasury manpower to be trimmed to hasten funds transfer process

Ranchi, Dec.1: The finance department has decided to drastically reduce the number of treasury officers across districts in a move that it believes will help curb irregularities and cut down billing expenses.

If all goes well, the new initiative will be implemented from January 1, 2014, bringing down the number of drawing and disbursing officers (DDOs) to 1,000-2,000 from the exiting 16,000-17,000.

According to state finance secretary A.P. Singh, a resolution in this regard was passed on November 20 and the process to trim the number of disbursing officers had already begun.

“Now, one person from a particular department will act as a disbursing officer whose signature will be accepted while transferring money to employees’ accounts,” Singh told The Telegraph.

Earlier, all class I officials, including IAS, IFS, IPS and SDO who received pay slips from the accountant general’s office, used to double up as DDOs enabling them to withdraw their own salaries, perks, TA, medical reimbursements etc.

On the other hand, government employees, who got pay slips from their respective departments, needed to submit their bills to treasuries. Generally, department heads used to act as disbursing officers for such employees.

But now, the department is planning to reduce the number of these DDOs too.

For example, earlier principals and headmasters at government schools had the authority to disburse salaries, but now the power will be given to block education extension officers (BEEO). Other government establishments will also follow a similar process.

A treasury officer said the process used to be quite cumbersome. “All DDO codes had to be fed to an online system before treasuries could actually clear salaries and bills and transfer the same to individual accounts,” he said, adding that now there would be fewer DDOs, so the processing would be faster.

Moreover, employees had to attach all their bills, like IT deductions, EMI payments, with their pay slips every month.

Under the new system, employees will not have to submit bills every month as the finance department would maintain a comprehensive employee database that would be accessible from all respective treasuries.

“This will curb consumption of paper, and the finance department will save over Rs 10 lakh every month,” said a senior official.

More reforms are in the pipeline. Like a single bill will clear payments of all government employees in one go every month. It is in vogue in some states wherein the main treasury officer acts as a disbursing officer for all.