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There are over a 1045 Centrally Sponsored and Central Sector Schemes being implemented through the different ministries of the Government of India. Given the diversity in the implementation hierarchy, the number of implementing units and the geographical reach of these schemes it has been a challenge to have meaningful information on these schemes. Thus the need for a central monitoring, evaluation and accounting system for the Plan Schemes has been widely acknowledged. This not only effects the monitoring of the Plan Schemes but also has implications for financial management in the public sector.

The Economic Survey (2007-08) emphasized the need of output and outcome monitoring and creating knowledge-based expertise for effective financial monitoring of the Plan Schemes. Subsequently the Finance Minister in his Budget Speech (2008-09) announced the setting of the Central Plan Schemes Monitoring System towards establishment of a comprehensive Decision Support System and Management Information System. The intended outcome is was to generate and monitor scheme-wise and State-wise releases for the Central Plan and Centrally Sponsored Schemes.

The 11th Plan Document recognized the deficiencies in the existing accounting system for the Plan Schemes and its inability to support informed planning, budgeting and effective monitoring of these schemes. It also underlined the need for a consolidated financial information system for the Plan Schemes.

The EFC of the Planning Commission approved the implementation of CPSMS in a phased manner with clearly defined activities to be accomplished during the fiscal year 2008-09. The Finance Minister accorded its approval in principle for the entire scheme. Administrative and financial approval was for Part A of the Scheme with an outlay of Rs. 24.25 crores.

                                                                   Part A

1. Mapping of Plan Schemes with the code of accounts and compiling information on State-wise. Overall releases under flagship schemes are now available; the following refinements would have to be taken up: (a) State-wise and Agency-wise data releases (b) Reports on releases on sub-scheme / component level.

2. Release data for all other Centrally Sponsored Schemes and Central Plan Schemes on the same lines as explained above in respect of flagship programs.

3. Capture of data on sub-sanctions, going progressively down the line right up to the implementing agencies. This would involve making complete lists of implementing agencies at each level, the details of the associated bank accounts. As well as the specification of the component of the scheme being handled by each agency.

4. Capture all expenditure details from the lower level on standardized formats.

5. Components 3&4 above are to be taken up for implementation on a pilot basis in respect of a few programmes in a few states in order to detect implementation problems and to sort them out.

6. Payment to the ultimate beneficiary through banking channels.

7. Report generation capabilities should be integrated into the transaction databases that are created at each stage of the roll out. This should be available at a minimum to show the State-wise and lower level allocation of funds. All these information in these databases should be available in the public domain for viewing and download usage. This entire database would constitute the core accounting system.

The approval also stated that after the pilot and an assessment / evaluation of its results, a detailed scheme would be drawn up along with the DPR which may undergo suitable appraisal and approval before implementation.

The Scheme is being implemented by the Office of the Controller General of Accounts as a Plan Scheme under the Planning Commission. Accordingly a Project Implementation was constituted vide Planning Commission order No. 21/1/2008-FR dated 25th July ’08 as under:

1. Controller General of Accounts: [Chairman]
2. Dy. Comptroller and Auditor General of India Or his representative: [Co-Chairman]
3. AS& F.A. Planning Commission or his representative
4. Advisor (FR) Planning Commission
5. Director General, NIC or his representative
6. Additional Controller General of Accounts
7. Joint CGA, CPSMS: [Member Secretary]

The committee has been delegated the powers of competent financial authority and is responsible for overseeing the implementation and financial management of the Plan Accounting & Public Finance Accounting Scheme (PA&PFMS).

A web enabled application was developed in the office of the CGA to serve as a common platform for monitoring of the Central Sector and Centrally Sponsored Schemes. The Sanction ID Generation (SID) Module was accordingly launched on 1st April 2008 and was hosted on the e-Lekha platform. All sanctions issued by the Central Ministries under the Plan Schemes are now identified with a unique Sanction ID that enables the tracking of releases as per their accounting and budget heads across the different implementing agencies

As per the approval pilot studies were also conducted by the Office of the Controller General of Accounts and the Comptroller and Auditor General of India.
Centrally Sponsored Schemes as defined by the National Development Council are: those that are funded directly by the central ministries/ departments and implemented by states or their agencies, irrespective of their pattern of financing, unless they fall under the centre’s sphere of responsibility i.e. the union list. This assistance is deliberately in areas that are State subjects, with the centre wishing to motivate the States to take up such programs.

Additional Central Assistance (ACA) linked schemes provide central assistance to the states for the state plan schemes. This assistance is meant for special programs as per the needs of the State, sectoral priorities and cover subjects not on the union list. The ACA linked schemes are funded by the ministry of finance and administered by the sectoral ministry concerned.

Central Sector Schemes are those that are implemented by a central agency and 100% funded by the center on subjects within the union list.
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