E-bill Processing System

On the event of the 46th Civil Accounts Day, the Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman introduced the Electronic Bill (e-Bill) processing system, which was announced in the Union Budget 2022 – 23. This is part of the Ease of Doing Business (EoDB) and Digital India ecosystem, which aims to increase payment transparency and speed up the process. By enabling suppliers and contractors to file claims online, which will be tracked in real time, it will improve transparency, effectiveness, and the faceless paperless payment method.

The topic has a very high chance of being asked as a UPSC Prelims Economy Question or as a Current Affairs Question, as it has been in the news recently.

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About E-bill Processing System

  • The e-Bill Processing System is a method of transacting invoices online rather than using paper. Customers that are billed electronically would be able to access their bills online, through email, or in machine-readable data forms.
  • Suppliers of different goods and services to the government are presently required to produce physical, ink signed copies of the invoices to the applicable Ministries/Departments/Offices of the Union Government of India.
  • Vendors/suppliers can use the newly introduced e-Bill system to upload their bills and supporting documentation online at any time from the comfort of their homes/offices using digital signature.
  • At the backend, the officials will validate the electronic bill collected digitally at each stage, and the payments would be deposited digitally to the vendor’s bank account.
  • The Public Financial Management System (PFMS) unit of the Controller General of Accounts’ office at the Union Ministry of Finance’s Department of Expenditure developed it.
  • E-Bill Processing System would be deployed across all Central Ministries and Departments, as per the Finance Ministry of India.

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Objectives of E-bill Processing System

  • Decrease bill processing discretion by using the “First-In-First-Out” (FIFO) technique.
  • Increase the efficiency with which bills/claims are processed.
  • Eliminate the need for suppliers and government officials to interact physically.
  • To make it easy for all government vendors/suppliers to submit bills/claims at any time and from any location.

Significance of E-bill Processing System

By enabling suppliers and contractors to file claims online, which will be tracked in real time, it will improve transparency, efficiency, and the faceless paperless payment system. Suppliers and contractors would be able to file claims online, which will be tracked in real time, according to the Finance Ministry. Because e-Billing saves time, it would also be a fast and simple method that is more in line with the government’s aim to make India digital. Errors will be reduced by using the E-bill Processing system.

Public Finance Management System (PFMS)

The PFMS, formerly known as the Central Plan Schemes Monitoring System (CPSMS), is a web based online application platform created and operated by the Union Ministry of Finance’s Office of Controller General of Accounts (CGA). PFMS began as a Central Sector Scheme of the Planning Commission of India in 2009, with the goal of tracking money issued under all Government of India Plan schemes and real time reporting of expenses at all stages of implementation of the programme. The major goal of PFMS is to help the Union Government of India (GoI) develop a good Public Financial Management System by creating an efficient fund flow system and a payment cum accounting structure.

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