CSC services for free?

Minister suggests free services for beneficiaries, service provider to pay


Brajesh Kumar | February 18, 2010

Prithviraj Chavan at the National Conference on e-Governance
Prithviraj Chavan at the National Conference on e-Governance

 The government might just be rethinking its tack on the revenue model for common service centre (CSC) project.

The public grievances minister Prithviraj Chavan on Thursday suggested that government services being provided through common service centres (CSCs) be made available free of charge for all citizens.

The department of administrative reforms (DARPG), which comes under the public grievances ministry, is the nodal agency for e-governance planning.

"We could think of a way where the agency which has the mandate to provide the service could pay for it while the beneficiaries get it for free," Chavan said, adding, "It would be paying for the convenience of not having to manage the demand and the delivery directly. 

The suggestion comes in the face of slow pace of the implementation of the CSC project 

The project, aimed at providing government services through internet kiosks at every village has already missed many deadlines.

The government had planned rolling out 100000 CSCs by March last year. One year later only 60,000 have been up and running.

The major hurdle behind the successful implementation of thye CSCs has been the absence of a revenue model for the private player taking up the project. With few takers for the internet kiosks in the rural areas, the project is veering off the sustainability road.




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