Chandigarh, June 10: In a bid to bring far more efficiency, transparency and accountability in the functioning of state administration, the Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Thursday asked the Additional Chief Secretary Governance Reforms to ensure complete digitalization by shifting all the users in the government on e-Office.
The Chief Minister said that the entire system of physical files should be immediately replaced with e-Office to ensure prompt delivery of citizen centric services in line with the Governance Reforms. He hoped that switching over to e-Office system would go a long way in curtailing inordinate delay in disposing official work thus making the government accountable, which would ultimately lead to check the inefficiencies and corruption to a considerable extent.
Underlining the importance of changing the way of working in the new digitalized era, the Chief Minister reiterated his government’s commitment to bring in greater transparency and efficacy in governance by providing nearly 350 citizen centric services to the people through a network of 516 Unified Service Delivery Centres-Sewa Kendras.
Taking part in the deliberations, the Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal said that Punjab had missed the Industrial Revolution earlier and now it is a high time to grab the opportunity to usher in IT Revolution and e-Office is an effective mechanism to achieve this goal. He underlined the need to transform our state into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy by transforming the old established physical ways of doing business and providing government services in new ways that are optimized around real time system.
Making a brief presentation, the Additional Chief Secretary (Governance Reforms) Anirudh Tewari apprised the Chief Minister about the functioning of the department and said that the mandate of the department includes software development, hardware procurement, IT infrastructure (network, bandwidth, data centre) support, Public service delivery through online and Sewa Kendras, Government process reforms, Grievances Redressal besides handling other responsibilities including issues related to RTI Act and RTI Commission, Transparency and Accountability in the delivery of Public Services Act and Commission, Anti Red Tape Act and State Advisory Council.
Pointing out further, the ACS said that as many as 516 Sewa Kendras (246 in Urban and 270 in Rural areas) are operational across the State providing various services of 31 departments. These comprise 332 Government to Citizen (G2C) services like Birth/Death certificates, Driving license and Registration Certificates, Marriage Certificate and Arms services and Business to Citizen (B2C) services which include services like photocopy, courier, lamination, Railway ticket booking and File making. The Governance Reforms department has outsourced operations of Sewa Kendras to 2 service operators on a revenue sharing model. The recently launched services comprise the ones related to Sarbat Sehat Bima Yojna (SSBY), Fard Service, E Court Fee, services regarding Saanjh Kendras, Local Government department services such as property tax collection, registration of street vendors, Water/Sewerage bill collection apart from integrated 41 services of Labour department for construction workers. The services in the pipeline include the service of department of Agriculture, NRI document attestation, Home and Revenue departments and as many as 192 newly identified services of departments of Medical Education, Power, School Education, Housing and Urban Development, Local Government, Technical Education and Health which are planned to be launched by March 31, 2022. Divulging further, Tewari said that a Grievances Redressal system has been operationalized for all the departments with 62 departments/boards/corporations on board.
In a unique step towards ensuring ‘Digital Punjab’, a unified state helpline 1100 has been launched for non-emergency services. For vaccination, bed and patient management apart from contact tracing and test reports, COVA app has also been rolled out with more than 63 lakh downloads so far. The app has also been integrated with Aarogya Setu and Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
Earlier, the Chief Secretary Vini Mahajan said the Governance Reforms department is working in close coordination with all the departments to provide the citizen centric services in a seamless manner. She said e-Office has been implemented in Punjab Civil Secretariat, 65 directorates and 55 boards and corporations. Currently, 40,000 officers/officials are working on the 4.5 lakh digital files.