1. Hon’ble Finance Minister, Lyonpo Namgay Tshering launched the electronic Public Expenditure Management System (e-PEMS) and Global Interchange for Financial Transaction (GIFT) payment system on July 22, 2019 at Le Méridien, Thimphu.
2. The e-PEMS is developed by Department of Public Accounts (DPA), MoF in collaboration with the Royal Monetary Authority (RMA), Bank of Bhutan Ltd. (BoBL), Department of Revenue and Customs (DRC) and Department of Information Technology & Telecom (DITT).
3. This is an important milestone towards enhancing the Public Financial Management and to promote cashless and digital payments in the country.
4. The e-PEMS is an online accounting and payment system of the Royal Government of Bhutan implemented from July 2019 (FY 2019-20).
5. The GIFT payment system launched by the RMA is a payment platform developed to complement and support the settlement of interbank transactions for e-PEMS and the general public.
6. The GIFT payment system supports 3 types of payment services – BITS (or batched) settlement service, Real-Time Gross Settlement Service (RTGS) and Bulk Payment Service.
a. BITS (or batched) settlement service – The BITS would enable high value interbank fund transfer in a batched settlement cycle. The batch timings are set up by RMA in line to the operational timings of the banks.
b. RTGS – Real-Time Gross Settlement Service – Payments made through this service are settled immediately on receipt. The RTGS would allow the transfer of money from one bank to any other bank on a “real time” and on a “gross” settlement basis. RTGS systems are typically considered a systemically important payment system.
c. Bulk Payment Service – The Bulk Payment service can handle cases where multiple beneficiaries are to be credited from a single account. These transactions are targeted for mainly institutional payments E.g. Salaries, pension payments, loan repayments etc.
7. The implementation of e-PEMS and GIFT payment system is expected to bring following benefits:
-Eliminate use of manual cheques;
-Simplify bank reconciliation process;
-Improve public service delivery through reduced turnaround time (TAT);
-Minimize risks of fraud, corruption and rent seeking opportunities;
-Improve reporting and consolidation of the Government accounts;
-Support initiative of moving towards cashless economy; and
-Reduce administrative burden.
8. With the implementation of e-PEMS and GIFT payment systems, it is expected to greatly reduce administrative burden and improve public service delivery through enhanced Public Financial Management system. Further, it will also improve timely reporting and consolidation of the Government accounts which will help in making informed decisions.
9. The e-PEMS has been developed with financial and technical support under multi donor fund (MDF) which is contributed by European Union (EU) and Austrian Development Agency (ADA), and administered by the World Bank (WB).
10. The GIFT has been developed with the guidance from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) with technical support from Indian Financial Technology and Allied Services (IFTAS).
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