PFMS portal glitch leads to lapse of grants, teachers dip into their pockets : The Tribune India

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PFMS portal glitch leads to lapse of grants, teachers dip into their pockets

Hundreds of govt teachers end up paying for maintenance, construction, etc

PFMS portal glitch leads to lapse of grants, teachers dip into their pockets

Photo for representation. File photo



Tribune News Service

Aparna Banerji

Jalandhar, June 10

Glitches in the Public Fund Management System (PFMS) portal, Punjab, have burned a large hole in the pockets of many teachers this year. Lapse of school grants of thousands of schools across the state, before the grants could be utilised by the teachers, has baffled staff. Hundreds of teachers have ended up paying from their pockets for repair, maintenance, construction etc. which the government is yet to reimburse. These grants which schools withdraw through the PFMS portal, lapsed prematurely. School teachers and in-charges had to spend hefty amounts from their own pockets.

Sources said that in the Nakodar 2 area in Jalandhar block alone, payments of lakhs of rupees are still stuck because the grants were withdrawn as per instructions from the education department. However, officials said the money would be reimbursed to teachers in the next financial year.

Grant money didn’t reach vendor’s account

The grants had been allotted under the Public Funds Management System (PFMS) portal. But when time came to make payment, the amount was shown released through the portal but it didn’t reach the vendor’s account. Since vendors gave bills, teachers ended up paying. The education department needs to re-issue the grant so that teachers get back the money that they spent. — Navpreet Balli, president, Government Teachers Union (Vigaynik)

Navpreet Balli, president, Government Teachers Union (Vigaynik), said, “The PFMS portal glitch cost teachers hefty amounts in Jalandhar, Moga, Muktsar among other districts. Teachers still have the bills of money they spent from their pockets. The grants had been allotted under the portal. A Payment Print Advice (PPA) is then released through the portal, through which direct payment is made to vendors. But when time came to make payment, the amount was shown released through the portal but it didn’t reach the vendor’s account. Since vendors gave bills, teachers ended up paying. We could not understand what happened to the money. The education department needs to re-issue the grant so that teachers get back the money that they spent.”

Balli said similar problems were faced in construction grants also.

A Jalandhar-based teacher, regarding construction grants, said, “We had received payment of Rs 3 to 4 lakh in our school’s Sarv Sikhiya Abhiyan account with which we had to build additional rooms. When grants arrived in accounts, we were reassured that the money is there. So we got the work done at the required pace. However, when time came to pay the contractor some days later, the grant amount was missing from our account. In my over 15 years of service, it was the first time that I saw something like this.”

DEO Elementary, Jalandhar, Harinder Kaur, said, “The limit on the PFMS portal had lapsed this year but the money will be reimbursed to the teachers in the next financial year.”

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