Public Finance Management System PFMS

Introduction to Public Financial Management System

The Public Financial Management System (PFMS) is a web-based online software application developed and implemented by the Controller General of Accounts (CGA), Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance, Government of India. PFMS started during 2009 with the objective of tracking funds released under all Plan schemes of Government of India, and real time reporting of expenditure at all levels of Programme implementation. Subsequently, the scope was enlarged to cover direct payment to beneficiaries under all Schemes. Gradually, it has been envisaged that digitization of accounts shall be achieved through PFMS and beginning with Pay & Accounts Offices payments, the O/o CGA did further value addition by bringing in more financial activities of the Government of India in the ambit of PFMS. The outputs / deliverables for the various modes / functions of PFMS include (but are not limited to):

  • Payment & Exchequer Control
  • Accounting of Receipts (Tax & Non-Tax)
  • Compilation of Accounts and Preparation of Fiscal Reports
  • Integration with Financial Management Systems of States

The primary function of PFMS today is to facilitate sound Public Financial Management System for Government of India by establishing an efficient fund flow system as well as a payment cum accounting network. PFMS provides various stakeholders with a real time, reliable and meaningful management information system and an effective decision support system, as part of the Digital India initiative of Government of India.

PFMS has established interface with the treasury systems of all the 28 States and the 2 Union Territories with Legislatures. This facilitates exchange of data regarding budget, allocation and expenditure against the central transfer of funds for Centrally Sponsored Schemes of the Government of India.As the backbone of the payment system of the Government of India, PFMS is integrated with the Core Banking system in the Country, and hence, has the unique capability to first validate the account before pushing online payments to almost every beneficiary/vendor. At present, PFMS has interface with the Core Banking System (CBS) of over 300 Banks, including all Public Sector Banks, all Regional Rural Banks, major private sector banks, Reserve Bank of India, India post and Cooperative Banks. With time, the integration has to become universal, i.e. interface is to be established with all the Banks operating in India. Interface with the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has also been developed that facilitates validation for Aadhaar-linked payments.

PFMS is also the channel for payment, accounting and reporting under Direct Benefit Transfer. As such, every Department/Ministry of Government of India transfers funds electronically to beneficiary (individual or institution) through PFMS. Further, State Governments and the Implementing Agencies transfer the cash components to beneficiaries through PFMS. To facilitate the above, PFMS has interface with over fifty Beneficiary management applications/systems of different Ministries and Departments, such as PM-KISAN, NSAP, MNREGASoft, MCTS, AwasSoft and Kanyashree.

PFMS was developed using an architecture which was envisaged in 2009, and as more functionalities have been added over the last few years, along with the ever increasing depth and width of its operations, PFMS faces challenges of scalability and performance. In this background, the O/o CGA intends to transform the current PFMS system into PFMS 2.0 with dedicated focus on process and user experience improvements, adding more functionality in core functional areas and drive end to end digital experience on the platform to serve all the stakeholders scale to tomorrows needs and perform better for peak and non-peak loads. It is envisaged to address the following major technical areas:

  • Hyper-stability and scalability and Hybrid Cloud
  • Sharding based database architecture
  • A comprehensive dataware house and Data cleansing
  • AI, ML, Deep learning and Predictability framework
  • Fraud Analytics
  • High Latency, low bandwidth area operations with offline filing tools and App virtualisation
  • Mobility platform, bots and blockchain
  • Single Sign On (SSO) between applications
  • An open API framework for integration
  • Comprehensive PKI infrastructure & digital signing solution. Hardware Security Module (HSM) integration for management of cryptographic keys and data privacy and protection
  • Comprehensive content management framework to enable paperless office (to store PDF, XML, JPG type content) with ability to digitize content store in “digitized content”
  • Comprehensive DR and BCP strategy and drills parts of process
  • Comprehensive data classification and privacy framework
  • Comprehensive cyber security framework
  • Comprehensive testing framework (unit, black box, white box, load and performance)

PFMS 2.0 is envisaged to be an effective, engaging, productive and efficient platform developed through techniques such as Design Thinking & Persona based user journeys.

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