Even as the government is pushing hard for card-led financial transactions post demonetisation, India’s top accounting office has raised concern over the use of e-wallets for making payments to government services and utilities.
Indian railways had recently asked the Controller General of Accounts (CGA) M J Joseph if mobile wallets should be accepted as mode of payment for booking train tickets. In its response CGA said that e-wallets is a ‘closed system’ and there is no mechanism showing how the money from the e-wallet reaches the government coffers.
Joseph told the Indian Express that he is all for the introduction of new technology but is concerned about the safety, custody and control of government money. He said that there is a need to work out proper procedures with the Reserve Bank of India to ensure that the money reaches the government.
The CGA’s office, under the Ministry of Finance, advises the government on matters related to accounting and ensures that the payment mechanisms are in place for government services and utilities are safe and secure.
The Railways has now decided to not introduce e-wallets for over the counter transactions but rely on the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) accepting wallet payments online for e-tickets and other services.
IRCTC pays Railways the money for the ticket in advance, hence eliminating the concerns about money not reaching the government, a senior Railway official told the newspaper.
(Feature image source: Reuters)