Biometric digital transaction card to stamp out fraud in state, private institutes
An estimated Rs. 35 billion is removed illegally from state affiliated welfare reserves, including pensions, each year and in a bid to stamp out this fraud the authorities are to introduce a biometric digital transaction card, it was revealed yesterday.
The card created by the Ministries of Telecom and Digital Infrastructure and Finance will initially cover around 25 state and private institutes dealing in cash transactions before covering other areas as well, Minister Harin Fernando told the Sunday Times.
Initially the project which is to be launched from the beginning of next month will cover state institutes such as the banking sector, the Departments of Emigration and Immigration, Registrar of Persons, Motor Traffic, Railways, Pensions, CTB, Health, Fisheries, Agriculture, Social Services, Samurdhi etc, Minister Fernando said.
He added that the bio metric card that contains the thumb print and other details of the holder cannot be used by any other person since the application will not register.
The chief aim of this new system known as ‘Household Transfer Management System’ will help to stamp out impersonation and other fraud that is currently taking place at a frightening level in institutes dealing with state welfare reserves.
Some of the worst hit areas are the Pensions and Samurdhi sectors where it has been found that billions of rupees in cash and other benefits such as subsidised agriculture fertilizers are withdrawn on behalf of persons who have long been deceased and who do not exist.
It also means cutting down on volumes of paper work and also checking errant government officials known to be on the take in several state institutions,” he added.
Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake said the bio-metric card system will also provide more revenue to the state since individuals can do many transactions without hard cash by using this card and thereby the money will remain in their respective accounts.
“This system is set to bring fraud to near zero and in the future it would be made compulsory that every registered citizen will be in possession of this card,” Minister Karunanayake added.