MAHARASHTRA: Transparent Governance

As part of
the Maharashtra Seas project, the State Ex-cise Department, Government of
Maharashtra has completed the process of computerization. Work on the project
commenced in 1998 and the task of completing and maintaining the project was
assigned to CMC. Initially it started with providing software development and
basic awareness to approximately 1,000 employees. The State Excise Application
Software has 19 modules and the activities specific to individual departments
have been categorized into independent modules. Says SK Paradkar, Deputy
Director, State Excise Department, "We are providing access of information
to specific departments and only that, which is of specific use to them."
So the accounts module, used to capture revenue paid to the government by the
licensees because of various fees and duties, would not be accessible to other
departments, unless granted permission. Moreover, it has plans to make the
information available online and storage of data would be centralized and easy
to analyze. So
me of the 19 modules undertaken in this project include
accounts, audit, checkpost, chemical laboratory, data extraction, legal, license
and systems administration.

Stamps and Registration

The Stamps
and Registration Department of Maharashtra, nowadays stamps its authority (pun
intended) over other departments. Annually, Maharashtra collects revenue to the
tune of Rs1,900 crore. Subhash Lakhe, Superintendent, Department of Stamps,
says, "Earlier there used to be a lot of backlog as a result of manual
operations, but with computerization all that will change". With
computerization, the department hopes to bring transparency and accountability,
which seems to plague all government departments. The development of software
has been completed and department staff is currently undergoing the process of
testing and training the software. There are plans of integrating all the 365
offices, but in a phased manner. Initially, it is looking at computerizing 165
departments. The total investment of the government in this project has been
approximately Rs10 crore. When the systems are in place, documents would be
registered within an hour and the original copy of the document would be handed
over to the re
cipient, which is not the case at present. This is expected
to eliminate the chances of favoritism and bring in more transparency.


    Started with providing software development and basic awareness to
    approximately 1,000 employees. Wants to computerize all possible
    Clearing backlogs. Department staff trained for software. Plans to
    integrate all 365 offices in a phased manner.
    Connecting around 3,000 offices through a VSAT network.
    Every typewriter in Mantralaya replaced with computers.

Connectivity project

Government of Maharashtra has identified connectivity as an important issue for
successful e-governance. And for this the state has taken up the task of
connecting around 3,000 offices through a network. With the help of VSATs, which
is used at present and with the reach of the internet, the reach will be further
extended to the sub-taluka level where the government is setting up gram-sachivalayas.
The Mantralaya’s LAN is in the final stages and every typewriter has been
replaced. The government has gone for a district wide area network (WAN), which
is linked to 3,000 districts. There are 465,000 sales tax assesses filing about
four million returns every year and these returns are filed through 2,200
branches of various banks. For this, computerization of banks and introduction
of payment-gateways are important. The government has further plans of
computerizing all the 300 treasuries and sub-treasuries and connect them to all
the 10,000 offices for online billing, processing, payment and auditing. The g
has developed 50 applications including registration of deeds, stamp duty, works
management, tendering, human resources amongst others. There are plans to
implement these applications quickly. 


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