All panchayats across the country will mandatorily use digital payments for development work and revenue collection this Independence Day onwards, and be declared UPI-enabled, a letter issued by the Panchayati Raj Ministry said.
States should “announce and inaugurate” the UPI-compliant panchayats in the presence of prominent dignitaries like Chief Ministers, MPs, and MLAs, the Ministry said in the letter to States and Union Territories.
Secretary, Panchayati Raj Ministry, Sunil Kumar said almost 98% panchayats had already started using UPI-based payments.
“Payments worth almost ₹1.5 lakh crore have been made through the Public Financial Management System (PMFS). Payments to panchayats will now be made digitally. Payments in cheques and cash have almost been stopped,” Mr. Kumar said.
“It has almost universal coverage now. We have already covered almost 98% of panchayats,” he said.
Panchayats have also been asked to hold meetings with service providers and vendors on June 30. A list with details of contact persons from UPI platforms GPay, PhonePay, PayTm, BHIM, Mobikwik, WhatsApp Pay, Amazon Pay and Bharat Pe has been shared by the Ministry.
By July 15, panchayats have to choose appropriate service providers, and finalise vendors by July 30, as per guidelines by the Ministry.
Panchayats have also been asked to choose a single vendor which covers the whole area so as to allow economies of scale. It has also been recommended to create a centralised dashboard for monitoring transactions in real time.