THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: In an attempt to make all government offices paper free, for the first time, the salary of 5.25 lakh government employees for the month of January will be paid electronically.
Instructions had been given to all treasuries not to entertain any handwritten bills henceforth. Those who had enrolled on the Service and Payroll Administrative Repository for Kerala (Spark) will only get the salary on time next month.
All the government offices had been directed to complete the data entry of their monthly perks by the end of December 2011 and majority had completed the task.
A small section of the employees might not get their salary next month who have not received the Permanent Employment Number (Pen) or not enrolled to Spark. The drawbacks and the number of persons who are not in the enrolment list will be available only during the first week of February.
Spark chief project manager K Unnikrishnan Unnithan said that around 5.25 lakh employees had already been enrolled on Spark. All these employees will be paid the January salary through the Spark process. He said that a small section of employees was not able to enrol on Spark. Some of the government offices or schools were not able to update the details in computer owing to lack of infrastructure and they have to find some other alternative methods.
The teachers of upper primary and lower primary schools are the worst-affected along with the government employees on deputation. All the government offices were depending on hand written bills which are produced in the treasuries to pay the salaries and bills of employees.
Though Spark was started by the State Government in 2008, it was moving at a snail’s pace with most of the government offices not completing the formalities. The enrolment and data entry had gained momentum when the government had issued an ultimatum.
Spark was introduced as part of reducing the workload of the employees who are writing the bill details monthly, wasting their valuable time. As the data is entered in the computer, every month a slight change is needed in it and the process becomes very easier.
After making the salary payment foolproof, Spark will also introduce electronic submission of all bills to treasuries, pension data base, TA bills and even online leave application.