Good news for Government suppliers: Sitharaman launches e-Bill system

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman launches e-Bill system on 46th Civil Accounts Day in New Delhi on March 2, 2022. (Photo/PIB)

New Delhi: Union Minister for Finance & Corporate Affairs Nirmala Sitharaman launched the e-Bill system for Central Government Ministries on the 46th Civil Accounts Day here on March 2, 2022.

In a phased manner, the new system will make the entire process of submission and backend processing of bills completely paperless and transparent.  Thus, it is a major step forward in realizing the vision of ‘Digital India’ and promoting ease of doing business, the Ministry of Finance said in a press release.  

The objectives of the system are to:

a)         Provide convenience to all vendors/suppliers of the government to submit their bills/claims at any time, from anywhere.

b)         Eliminate physical interface between suppliers and government officers.

c)         Enhance efficiency in processing of bills/claims.

d)         Reduce discretion in processing of bills through “First-In-First-Out”(FIFO) method.

Currently, the suppliers of various goods and services to the Government have to submit physical, ink signed copies of their bills to the respective Ministries/Departments/offices of the Government of India.  Similarly, government employees also need to submit hard copies of their claims.  At the backend too, the processing of bills is done through a mixed system of physical and digital modes. So the suppliers/vendors or their representatives need to visit the offices to deliver bills.  Moreover, they are unable to track the status of processing of their bills. 

Under the newly launched e-Bill system, vendors/suppliers can upload their bills online along with supporting documents from the convenience of their homes/offices at any time through digital signature.  For those not having a digital signature, the facility of e-sign using Aadhaar has also been provided. So, the suppliers will no longer be required to visit the offices concerned for this purpose, informed the release.  

At the backend too, the electronic bill received will be processed by the authorities digitally at every stage and finally, the payments will be credited digitally to the bank account of the vendor.  The vendor/supplier would be able to track the status of processing of their bills online.  Thus, the new system will bring in lot of efficiency and transparency in the system and is a big citizen-centric decision of the Government of India.

The e-Bill system has been developed by the Public Financial Management System (PFMS) Division in the office of the Controller General of Accounts in the Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance. The bills will be processed by First-In-First-Out (FIFO) method.

The system has been initially rolled out in the following nine Pay and Accounting Units of the following nine Ministries/Departments:-

1)         PAO Ministry of Food Processing Industry

2)         PAO, Department of Pharmaceuticals, Ministry of Chemical and Fertiliser

3)         PAO, Department of Science and Technology, Ministry of Science and Technology

4)         PAO (CGA HQ), Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance

5)         PAO (PFMS Division), Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance

6)         PAO, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy

7)         PAO (Census), Ministry of Home Affairs

8)         PAO Ministry of Steel

9)         PAO (NIC), Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology

The e-Bill system will be rolled out in other Ministries/Departments in a phased manner in 2022-23. 

In addition to promoting ease of doing business and brining convenience to lakhs of vendors/suppliers, the e-Bill system will be environment friendly, eliminating the need to submit crores of paper bills annually and will thus save tonnes of paper every year.  The e-Bill system has an elaborate digital storage facility for retrieval of documents and a robust audit trail. (Press Release)

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