Gounder clarifies that MPAiSA and MyCASH has become key feature of payment platforms
The government has paid over $322m through these platforms since 2020

Gounder clarifies that MPAiSA and MyCASH has become key feature of payment platforms

The government has paid over $322m through these platforms since 2020

By Mosese Raqio
Tuesday 12/12/2023
Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Finance Shiri Gounder

The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Finance Shiri Gounder has clarified the recent misinformation regarding the $18.5 million balance in the MPAiSA and MyCASH account at the end of July 2022 and says the two digital payment platforms has become a key feature of their payment platform.

Gounder says the Government has paid over $322 million through these platforms since 2020.

Gounder says some of the major payments disbursed through M-PAiSA and MyCash include the unemployment benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic, the $180 inflation mitigation payout, the 10 per cent bus fare subsidy, the $200 back-to-school payment and now the option available for payment of Government wages and salaries and social welfare.

He says they need to ensure that sufficient balances are maintained to meet their payment needs; similar to how they maintain funds at the commercial banks.

He adds in simple terms, M-PAiSA and MyCash, serve a similar purpose as a bank account for digital payments.

Gounder says for the Government to execute the annual budget and meet daily payment requirements, funds have to be held in different commercial banks at any point in time.

He says for example, as of today, the Government holds $79.6 million in all 6 commercial banks (ANZ, Westpac, HFC, BSP, Bred Bank and Bank of Baroda) to manage daily payment commitments.

The Permanent Secretary says similar to banks, a minimal interest rate is paid on all of the Government’s operating bank accounts, including M-PaiSA and MyCash, since the funds are only held temporarily for operational purposes.

Gounder says since the end of July 2022, the Government has the M-PAiSA and MyCash funds for payment of bus fare subsidies and direct salary deductions for a number of civil servants with a current balance of around $8.1 million in M-PAiSA and MyCash.

He says the $45 million that has been budgeted for the $200 back-to-school payment for the 2024 school year will also be paid out through these platforms and to execute this, the Government will have to further top us its MPAiSA and MyCash accounts to meet the payment requirements.

Gounder further says in line with the Government’s financial rules and regulations, proper internal controls and reconciliation processes are maintained to ensure taxpayer funds are used effectively as appropriated by Parliament.

He says records are well maintained and easily available for reconciliation and audit verification and a standard operating procedure exists as to how digital wallet funds will be utilised and captured in the Government accounts.

Gounder says the Ministry of Finance has had a great partnership with Vodafone and Digicel and has acknowledged them for their great service in improving public service delivery through digital payments.

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