Enhancing Transparency and Empowering Citizens through Financial Inclusion in Disbursement of Social Security Pensions Haryana Perspective

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30 Νοε 2013 (πριν από 3 χρόνια και 6 μήνες)

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Enhancing Transparency and Empowering Citizens through Financial Inclusion in
Disbursement of Social Security Pensions


Haryana Perspective


Ghan Shyam Bansal, Susheel Kumar, Dharampal Saini

State Informatics Officer, NIC
-
HrSC, G03, Haryana New Secretariat, Chandigarh,
Ph
:
09417984502
;

Technical Director, NIC
-
HrSC, 9
th

Floor, Haryana Civil Secretariat, Chandigarh
Ph:
09815472266

Scientist “C”, NIC
-
HrSC, 9
th

Floor, Haryana Civil Secretariat, C
handigarh

Ph:
09781115218

e
-
Mail:
ghanshyam.bansal@nic.in
,
susheel.kumar@nic.in

,
dp.saini@nic.in



ABSTRACT


Haryana government has been providing
financial assistance, under social security schemes
through department of Social Justice and
Empowerment, in the form of monthly pension, to
citizens who are unable to sustain themselves from
their own resour
ces and are in need of financial
assistance. To improve the public services delivery
system, Haryana Pensions Processing Information
System was developed by NIC and implemented 10
years ago. Over the time, more schemes included
covering 9 schemes & n
ow hav
ing more than
20.60
lakh

beneficiaries

across Haryana and record of
each beneficiary is available online. In the year
2010, it was decided to introduce Electronic
Benefits Transfer directly into the bank accounts of
beneficiaries under Financial Inclusion
scheme of
RBI (Reserve Bank of India), using the Banks
Business Correspondent model for
disbursement to
the right beneficiaries at right time using Biometric
based Smart Card from the nearest customer
service point manned by BC of bank. Also the
scheme eff
ectively contributed in filtering out the
duplicates and ineligible beneficiaries.
This paper
briefly describes process re
-
engineering,
standardization & reforms carried out for Financial
Inclusion, EBT & ICT interventions,
challenges
and strategy for
Effective electronic service
delivery

in disbursement of financial assistance
under Social Security Schemes.


Index Terms
:
HaPPIS, EBT, BC, CSP, RBI


1.

INTRODUCATION


Haryana is one of the pioneer states in
providing financial assistance to its citizens under
social security schemes. Initially, old age & widows
pension schemes were started.


Wave
-
I:

To improve the delivery of service to
the citizens, HaPPIS (Haryana Pe
nsions Processing
& Information System) was developed by NIC
-
Haryana State Centre and was implemented at
District Social Welfare Offices for updation of
pensioners’ data, processing and printing of bulky
APRs (
Actual Payee Receipts)

reports
village/pensio
n scheme wise for monthly
disbursement of pension through revenue officials/
PRIs (Panchayati Raj Institutions) members. A
website was also hosted for publishing of
beneficiaries’ information, Application forms,
procedures & welfare schemes.
The system has

sustained for a decade till Year 2010.


Over the time, more schemes were included.
As on date,
nine schemes, namely Old age Samman
Allowance (@ of Rs.500/
-
Rs.550/
-

&

Rs.700/
-

depending upon the age) , Pension for Widows,
Allowance for disabled persons (@Rs. 500/
-

&
Rs.750/
-

depending on the percentage of
disabilities), financial assistance to Eunuch, Dwarfs,
Ladli (single girl child), Children of destitute,
Kashmiri M
igrants & non school going disabled
children of less than 18 years have been covered.
Scheme wise classification of 20.60 lakh
beneficiaries is shown below;
Figure
-
I














Wave
-
II
:
During the year 2010
-
11, it was
decided that the financial assistance under the social
security schemes will be remitted into the bank
accounts through EBT Scheme.
The broad
objectives were to:

a)

streamline disbursement of pension,

b)

ensure the disbursement
to right
beneficiary,

c)

eliminate errors in beneficiaries’ list

d)

filter out duplicate and ineligible
beneficiaries, and

e)

ensure on
-
line availability of requisite
information as and when required.

For this purpose, no frill savings bank
accounts were opened

by designated banks under
their Financial Inclusion scheme using the Business
Correspondent model. D
isbursement of pension was
through Bank/ BC Model using handhold devices
and Biometric based Smart Cards of respective
beneficiary. Beneficiaries could wit
hdraw their
1%
3%
1%
47%
13%
3%
4%
2%
26%
0%
Old Age Samman @500
Old Age Samman @550
Old Age Samman@700
Disability Pension@500
Disability Pension@750
Widow Pension@750
FADC@200
FADC@400
Ladli Allowance@500
FAKM+Eunuch+Dwarf+MR
Average pension is Rs. 615/
-

per beneficiary per

month

pension from nearest CSP manned by Bank BC.
This process, by default, could filter out duplicate
and ineligible beneficiaries. Where
-
ever cases of
inadequate banking infrastructure and mismatching
of bio
-
metrics were reported, such beneficiarie
s
were identified on the spot by the respective Gram
Panchayats or Municipal bodies members.

NIC
-
HrSC (National Informatics Centre
-

Haryana State Centre) took the responsibility of
development of requisite software; it’s hosting in
public domain, providin
g implementation support
and acting as a technology partner to the
department. State Government signed the MoUs
with 10 banks, namely SBI, UBI, PNB, CBI, OBC,
SBOP, Corporation Bank, Axis Bank, ICICI and
HDFC Bank. These banks further engaged one of
the te
chnical service providers (like FINO


Financial Inclusion & Network Operations Ltd.) for
field work, through their
BCs. Clear
roles and
responsibilities of all stake holders were defined.

2.

MIGRATION TO WEB ENABLED
CENTRALIZED ARCHITECTURE

The client/serve
r based HaPPIS system was
completely re
-
vamped by NIC
-
HrSC and
following
functionalities were developed/added:

a)

A dynamic web portal was developed and
established.

b)

beneficiaries’ records were made Unicode
compliant and made bi
-
lingual (Hindi &
English),

c)

Complete data was migrated to centralized
server

d)

State level unique pensioner ID was generated,

e)

Role based & IP based access with
authentication and authorization was provided
to DSWOs (District Social Welfare Officers)
of all districts and they were perm
itted to
update the beneficiary’s data in respect of their
district.

f)

Audit trial logs were generated and maintained
on the central server at NIC
-

Haryana Data
Centre to track changes made in the
beneficiary data.


g)

list of

beneficiaries was made available
online as well as functionality was provided to
DSWOs to download and print a hard copy
and for getting the mistakes corrected if any
and verifying the lists.

h)

district wise beneficiaries’ lists (soft copy)
were generated

and provided to the designated
banks using web services for subsequent
enrolment of Beneficiaries and opening of no
-
frill accounts,

i)

Application forms for all schemes and related
instructions were made available on
-
line.

j)

The read only access to beneficiar
ies’ data was
made available in public domain on the web
portal


During the migration period (from manual
disbursement mode to electronic mode), the
monthly
APR
were generated and communicated
electronically to all DSWOs in a pdf file format, for
monthly
disbursements through the PRIs/authorized
field functionaries.

The DSWOs were not authorized to add any
beneficiary in the printed monthly APRs. They were
provided limited functionality in the central
application for
,


a)

insertion

of new and marking duplica
te &
ineligible beneficiaries after due verification,

b)

modifications in the existing beneficiaries’
data due to migrations with in district/out
-
side
the district,

c)

change in pension amount,

d)

c
hange in spellings of names, address and
change in beneficiary st
atus etc.

Respective Block offices/Municipal
Committees in the state were authorized to receive
applications and forwarding to District Social
Welfare Officer (DSWO), who
were authorized to
accept filled in application forms of beneficiaries, to
finalize
and to upload new beneficiaries in central
database.

3.

ENROLLMENT OF BENEFICIARIES
FOR OPENING OF BANK ACCOUNTS
AND CAPTURING OF BIOMETRICS

For opening of bank accounts of beneficiaries, the
21 districts in the state
were

assigned to 10 banks
keeping in view that a complete district is allotted to
one bank. The NIC through DSJE (Department of
Social Justice & Empowerment) provided the list of
beneficiaries along with demographic details to the
designated banks in XML file
format. The banks,
through their TSPs (Technical Service Providers),
collect
ed

the information as per the KYC (Know
Your Customer) norms of RBI along with the finger
prints biometrics of the beneficiaries. The banks
through their TSPs were asked to establ
ish and
operate permanent enrolment centers for this
purpose in all Block Development & Panchayat
Offices and Municipal Bodies. The banks were also
asked to provide additional enrolment teams as and
when demanded by the district administration in
case of b
acklog. In addition to the enrollment
through permanent enrolment centers, the TSPs
were also required to enroll those beneficiaries who
were unable to visit the permanent enrolment center
due to disability or incapacity by visiting the
beneficiary’s resid
ence.

The no
-
frill saving bank account for
remittance of benefits, were
opened

by the
respective banks, in the name of the beneficiary, as
per compliance of banking norms like Know Your
Customer etc. It was decided that for the cases
where the account cou
ld not be created due to non
-
satisfaction of one or more norms/criteria, the bank
shall inform the concerned enrollment center, who
shall inform the beneficiary about the deficiency
which is required to be corrected. After receiving,
any such corrected for
ms/documents removing the
deficiency, the same were to be forwarded to the
bank, to initiate the process of creation of savings
account.

A view of enrolment Centre is shown
in Figure
-
II,
below;


O
ne beneficiary
can

have only one bank
account, even

if
, he
/she is entitled for more than one
category of pensions. So far 18.56 la
cs

of bank
accounts have been opened and integrated with the
website database.
The accounts created for the
beneficiary is a single account and cannot be
converted into a joint account
. No ATM/Cash/Debit
card/Cheque books are issued for the beneficiary
account, so as to ensure withdrawal of benefits by
the beneficiary in person at doorstep or within the
CSP of the area using biometric based smart card.

4.

SMART CARDS ISSUANCE PROCESS

The b
anks through their TSPs were required to
perform biometrics based de
-
duplication for all the
beneficiaries of the districts under their service area.
All the duplicate accounts found to be pre
-
existing
during de
-
duplication exercise were immediately
requir
ed to be inactivated by the bank for the
purpose of EBT and reported to the department. List
of all such beneficiary’s savings accounts
inactivated by the bank for the purpose of EBT were
required to be uploaded on the NIC
-
SDC server for
deletion on the gr
ound of “duplicate”.

Smart card containing the biometrics data
along with other demographic information required
for operation of the bank account were generated
and issued to the beneficiaries. The bank through its
TSP was responsible for delivery of th
e smart card
to the beneficiary.

5.

INTEGRATION OF BANK ACCOUNTS
AND UPDATION OF BENEFICIARIES
DATABASE ONLINE


T
he banks
were required to

complete the
uploading of all information of beneficiaries
account,
enrolled at the enrollment centers during
the month

by the 7
th

calendar day of the immediate
succeeding month in agreed electronic format using
web services or e
-
mail, on the department’s web
portal, through DSWOs.
E
lectronic remittance of
the benefits w
as
into the bank account of the
eligible beneficiarie
s

only, whose names appear on
the department’s web portal at the time of sending
instruction to the bank in the XML format. Every
DSWO regularly updates beneficiaries data online
with respect to died, in
-
eligible, absentees and
addition of new beneficiarie
s
.

In case,
after the issue of smart cards
, a
beneficiary is detected as in
-
eligible, his/her record
on the web portal was disabled.

Mere possession of
bank smart card
is

not guarantee
for
remittance of
benefits into the bank account. In case a person is

aggrieved, he
was

advised to contact the District
Social Welfare Officer.

For change of address within the same district,
the bank
was required to
link the account number of
the beneficiary to the new CSP (Customer Service
Point) location within a month
of the request, so
that the beneficiary is able to operate his account at
his new address. For change of address from one
district to another, the bank account of the
beneficiary
was to
be terminated at the old location
in such manner that in case of creat
ion of new
account in the destination district, the same is not
blocked due to de
-
duplication failure.

6.

PROCESS FOR REMITTANCE OF
BENEFITS INTO BANK ACCOUNTS

The department is maintaining a savings
account in its name with the designated banks. The
departm
ent’s account in the bank is credited a
consolidated amount by the Treasury Bank.

B
efore
1
st

day
of
the

month, using NIC central application
software, district wise pension is processed along
with arrears and interest, (if any) using the
centralized up
-
to
-
date database of beneficiaries
updated by respective DSWO.

The software generate XML file, containing
district wise & bank wise Actual Payee Receipts
(APR) for the said month, the XML file is digitally
signed, using DSJE Digital Signature Certificate,
t
hereafter, this file is electronically transmitted to
respective banks to credit the accounts of
beneficiaries from the saving bank account of the
department.

7.

PENSION DISBURSEMENT

The Bank/BC disbursed the pension from
CSPs (customer service points) manned by local
persons and established in Villages/Blocks/MC.
The beneficiary is permitted to operate his bank
account at the designated local CSP only after
biometrics based authentic
ation using his/her smart
card on the handheld device (Point of Transaction)
POT machine. Disbursement to the beneficiary is
done after Biometric authentication. A view of
disbursement is shown below in
Figure
-
III.



In cases where biometrics of the be
neficiary
are not available and hence cannot be captured, the
transaction can be done by the bank/BC as per its
own verification procedure in consultation with
Gram Sarpanch or Municipal Member as per the
case. Details of all bank accounts operated withou
t
biometrics authentication are required to be brought
to the notice of the Department immediately. In case
a beneficiary is unable to visit the CSP due to
disability or incapacity, the CSP visits the
beneficiary’s residence on request to enable him for
wi
thdrawal of benefits at door step.

No benefits are remitted into an account
termed “inactive”; an account becomes inactive if
no withdrawal takes place in 60 days, however the
beneficiary can operate the bank account as per RBI
guidelines. The account sta
tus can be reactivated
only after written request from the beneficiary to
the department and lastly to the bank. “Inactive”
accounts not reactivated within 90 days can be
termed “dead” for the purpose of EBT and
permanently removed from the list of EBT
ac
counts. The banks maintain the list of “inactive”
and “dead” accounts for the purpose of EBT and
exercise due diligence so that no benefits are
credited into either “inactive” or “dead” accounts.
Such list of “inactive” and “dead” accounts for the
purpose
of EBT are reported to the Department in
.XML file format and the same are flagged in the
beneficiaries’ database for stopping the remittance
for subsequent months.

Wave
-
III
: T
he bank accounts of 6067 Gram
Panchayats and 79 Municipal committees have been
opened and integrated with the beneficiary database.
These accounts are used as alternative for
remittance of pension of beneficiaries in case gross
inconvenience is faced by them in withdrawal of
their pension due to inadequate banking
infrastructure or

due to other technical problems;
the arrangement has been made to ensure hassle free
disbursement of benefits on 1
st

of every month to
the beneficiaries. Such decisions are solely depends
and taken by the Government in the interest of the
beneficiaries as

and when feel necessary.

8.

SYNCHRONIZATION OF
BENEFICIARY DATA BETWEEN
DEPARTMENT AND BANK

The banks synchronize the beneficiary data
with the department’s centralized database
periodically at least once every month using the
web services developed by the N
IC
-
HrSC. The
synchronization of bank’s data with the
department’s centralized data for a month is done
by the 7
th

calendar day of the next month. The
synchronization web service, update all account
information including

a.

Bank account number;

b.

Duplicate ac
counts;

c.

Inactive/ dead accounts for stopping
remittance of pension to such accounts;

d.

Re
-
activated accounts;

e.

Any other as directed by the department.

9.

SALIENT FEATURES OF
INTEGRATED EBT SOLUTION
ARCHITECTURE

The solution architecture of Haryana EBT
project is
shown in

Figure
-
IV
. The
web portal is hosted as
http://socialjusticehry.gov.in

on NIC
-
HDC. The
application has been hosted after clearance of 3
rd

party security audit. The login passwords are IP
address based and standard hashing algorithms has
been used for enhanced security. Only role based
access is provided to central database. The XML
files sent to banks are digitally signed and only
official
e
-
mail
-
IDs are used for communication.
This is a transaction based integrated online
workflow system for beneficiaries records updation.
List of defaulter & ineligible beneficiaries is
displayed on the portal as soon as they marked so in
the database, whic
h serve as alert for the DSWOs
while making new beneficiaries.

10.

Major Process Re
-
engineering

Applications of new beneficiaries have been
started receiving at Block/MC offices level, earlier
they were supposed to travel to DSWO at district
level which was t
he only place for submission of
applications. Deletion and addition of beneficiaries’
records is done online and approval of state Hq is
obtained online, earlier it was done at district level
only that was partly isolated. Issuance of monthly
sanction for
release of pension funds to the tune of
Rs. 127 Cr is done using the website database,
however earlier it was done by taking the data
information from DSWOs. The most vital process
change is that earlier the funds were used to flow
from State Hq to Distri
cts and then to Blocks and
then to Gram Panchayats/ Municipal committees by
means of bank DD and lastly to the beneficiaries.
This process used to take 20
-
25 days in reaching the
benefits to the beneficiaries but now the benefits
reaches the beneficiary on

the same day i.e. 1
st

of
every month through EBT. One more important
processes change is withdrawal of benefits using the
biometric based smart card by the beneficiary.

11.

CAPACITY BUILDING


NIC
-
Haryana has deployed a dedicated team
for solution developmen
t & technical support for
project implementation. Operational training was
provided to DSJE officials from time to time.
Tutorials were organized for Banks/TSPs for data
synchronization, establishment of CSPs for
enrolment and manned by Bank/BCs.
Villag
e/Block/MC level announcement were made
for beneficiaries about new system. Process
documents and operational / instructive documents
for EBT project were prepared and communicated
to all stakeholders and were also published in public
domain. Series of Vid
eo Conferencing based
meetings of Chief Secretary with all DCs, Review
meeting of Hon’ble Chief Minister with Dy.
Commissioners during DCs conference. Technical
training was provided to all DIOs of NIC
-
Haryana,
so as to provide necessary technical support

at field
level.


12.

BENEFITS ACCRUED


Administrative G2G :
System helps in
filtering down of duplicates and other kind of
ineligible and non
-
existent beneficiaries, thus
saving towards state exchequer. There is no direct
cost of software development to the department.
Quick availability of beneficiary data, onlin
e data
updating and tracking of changes & payments is
helping in effective monitoring
and administration
of pensioners. Transparency and ease in handling of
database with respect to addition and deletion of
records of beneficiaries and their maintenanc
e.


Beneficiaries G2C :
Remittance of benefits
directly into bank accounts of beneficiaries leads
need based withdrawal thus promoting of saving
habits among beneficiaries. Earning Interest on their
pension bank accounts as well as convenience in
withdrawal of benefits as and when required. No
cost to the beneficiary for availing of services. No
fear of wrong disbursement. Facility to track
payment details as well as error correction, if any.
Availability and submission of application form at
the n
earest Block/MC office as applicable.


13.

IMPACT & RECOGNITIONS


Haryana
is

the first state in disbursal of all
pensions under its Social Security Pension project
through Electronic Benefit Transfer mechanism
serving more than 2 million beneficiaries across t
he
state and has been awarded
State of the Year
-

Financial Inclusion Award
-
2012


on 5
th

January,
2012. The award was given by Dr. C. Rangarajan,
Chairman Economic Advisory Council to Hon’ble
Prime Minister of India, at a function in New Delhi,


Pl
anning Commission and Union Ministry of
Finance has appreciated the Implementation of
Financial Inclusion (FI) scheme effectively and also
supported financially. State Finance Department &
NIC
-
HrSC were called to make a presentation to the
Task force of F
inance Ministry on December 21,
2011 at New Delhi, where bankers & their
association’s representatives were also present. The
project has capabilities of quality assurance in
services delivery with utmost transparency. The
successful roll
-
out of the proj
ect also accrues
savings on State Exchequer due to filter down of
ineligible/duplicates beneficiaries.


14.

CHALLENGES


Social Security
Pension
s

/ Financial
Assistance are survival of most of the beneficiaries
and in case of non receiving of it they will start
complaining and entire system may get affected.
Failing in providing the services in time, can result
in either late or non disbursement

of the pension to
the beneficiaries, therefore, following criticalities
may arise in case of non delivery of services in
time:



Timely processing of pension/arrears
can

be affected significantly.



Number of complaints may increase many
folds and the concerned official’s
may
remain busy in sorting out the complaints
by stopping all other works.



Timely remittance of benefits into bank
accounts
can
be affected



Halts/Pause of up keeping/updating of
ben
eficiaries records (for dead, non
-
existent, ineligible, duplicates, migrations
etc)



Non availability of required information of
beneficiaries online
can

affect monitoring
by concerned officers



Audit logs
may

not be available to track
the changes in benefi
ciary records.


Wave
-
IV:

Implementation of
Direct Benefits
Transfer (DBT Scheme) into the
Aadhaar enabled
Bank Accounts

of the beneficiaries, in lines with the
DBT scheme of Govt of India in pilot 51 districts of
the country. In Haryana, Ambala and Sonipat

are
the two pilot DBT Scheme districts. Though, the
social Security Pensions / Financial Assistance has
not yet included into the 34 identified DBT
Schemes, by the Govt of India, however, Haryana
has launched at its own from Durana Village of
Ambala Distr
ict, where the social security pension
benefits were distributed to 193 beneficiaries using
their Aadhaar Cards for the authentication.


15.

CONCLUSION


Haryana is the first state in disbursal of all
pensions under its Social Security Pension project
through E
lectronic Benefit Transfer mechanism
serving more than 2 million beneficiaries across the
state, the project is a live example of best practice of
Financial Inclusion. The design of the system is
modular and application is based on web based
architecture,

it is plug and play kind of system
which may starts functioning in other states just
after installation on the central server and changing

/ customizing Meta Data
like districts, blocks,
tehsils, MCs, villages etc and
policy

data tables
containing pension

types, pension amount,
participating banks etc which are state specific.
Disbursement model, as available in a particular
state can be followed. Application can be
transferred horizontally to the willing states by
following prescribed guidelines. The UID
(Aadhaar)
numbers of the beneficiaries have started
seeding into the database and Aadhaar based
payments have done successfully on pilot basis in
one
village of

District Ambala. The SMS interface
will be incorporated. The system is further planned
to be e
xtended and linked with other schemes where
FI is involved.




Acknowledgements


The authors are thankful to Chief Secretary to
Government of Haryana
, Financial Commissioner
and Principal Secretary Social Justice &
Empowerment, Electronics & Information
Technology, DG DSJE

and Director General,
National Informatics Centre for their continuing
encouragement, motivation and guidance. The
authors also acknowledge the support provided by
the officers of
the Department of Social Justice and
Empowerment
.


Theme

of this paper
:



“Towards an open Government”



Sub themes:



Leveraging Social Inclusion and



Social sector Programs (Focus Sector)
-

Financial Inclusion
-


EBT/DBT for
Social Sector beneficiaries who are
unable to sustain from their own
sources.


Figure


IV: EBT Project Solution
Architecture and Data Flow





The views expressed in this paper are
personal to the authors and do not represent the
views of either the Government of Haryana or
the National Informatics Centre, Department of
Electronics

& IT, Govt of India



*** End of Document ***