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`Spending on e-governance may touch Rs 2,200 crore this year'

Our Bureau

New Delhi , Oct. 27

THE country's spending on e-governance is rising 23 per cent per annum to touch an estimated Rs 2,200 crore this year.

Uttaranchal tops the list of 21 best e-governance projects, according to a latest report.

"The spending on e-governance is climbing up 23 per cent per annum. It has moved from Rs 1,500 crore in 2002 to an estimated Rs 2,200 crore this year. The survey reports a score of 8.1 (on a scale of 1-10) for a decline in corruption. What has been appreciated all over is the alignment with user expectations at 7.5 as also the affordability of service running as high as 9.5," according to e-Governance Report Card 2004 released here today by consultancy firm Skoch Consultancy Services.

The report, however, points out that although there are over a hundred projects implemented across the country, only half of them qualify as e-governance projects. with direct interface with citizens or other customers of such services. The rest, though loosely classified under the same title, were really MIS projects including the computerisation of police records, it noted.

The report further said that for every project that was working well, many failed to take off. According to inputs received from earlier Skoch roundtables, at least 30-35 rural Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) projects were currently in doldrums.

Uttaranchal's computer aided education programme `Aarohi' topped the rankings, while the second position was shared by Kalyan Dombivli Municipal Corporation (KDMC) project in Maharashtra, online bill payment facility Kaver-e-com project in Bangalore and Centre's project on railway computerisation of ticketing.

Tamil Nadu's Tamil Nilam and Rural Delivery project finished third, followed by Maharashtra's Sarita project.

Skoch recommended that e-governence projects should be citizen facing with e-governance schemes clearly built into all projects with defined deliverables. "Further, Government needs to be at the doorstep of the citizen offering a basket of services and also since the usage of certain projects was found to be low - publicity is critical," Mr Sameer Kochhar, CEO of Skoch Consultancy, told reporters here.

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