NE lags in electronic clearing system: RBI official

Shillong, Feb 7 (PTI) Ruing that the Northeast was yet to pick up the electronic clearing system (ECS), a senior Reserve Bank official today said Clearances through the ECS in the region is only one per cent of the national average.

"More awareness in required to refine the payment and settlement systems in the region. Of late, Manipur has started payment of salaries through this system. In Meghalaya some debit clearing (like BSNL bills) is done through ECS," RBI Regional Director Surekha Marandi said here.

Addressing a workshop on popularizing ECS for payment of salaries and pension, she said the electronic transfer of payments were safe, efficient, time saving time and it helped better fund management.

"Clearances through cheques take three days time, while through ECS it is done in one day.

The ECS also ensures better customer satisfaction," she said.Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma said all state government employees will be brought in the loop.

"The beneficiaries of government schemes and other weekly payments will be done through this system in near future," Sangma said.

Meghalaya additional chief secretary (in charge finance) BK Dev Verma said the ECS reduces the paper work and the exercise of going to banks.

"The possibility of fraud is also nil," he said. Meghalaya government is in the process of starting e-payment of pension. "Next, we will start the payment of salaries through ECS.

The banks have to gear up to handle the tasks, because gradually all government transactions will be done through electronic payment," Verma said.