MUMBAI: The Maharashtra government is looking at finalising five to six pilot projects involving startups in the next few months to test blockchain technology in the state, a senior bureaucrat told ET.

The projects would be in the areas of financial inclusion, land records, supply-chain financing, goods and farm insurance and motor vehicle registration. “We are looking to work with startups to implement blockchain use cases. It will cut down manual processes and duplicate paperwork. It will save us cost, time and bring in transparency,” said SVR Srinivas, the principal secretary at the state IT department.

Blockchain is a decentralised digital ledger in which transactions are recorded chronologically. Any changes to the ledger can be seen by all participants, making it hard to tamper with.

“We can use blockchain technology in all the processes where one needs to go through past transactions. It will bring down redundant labour,” Srinivas said. “The Maharashtra government will conduct a study to determine the quantum of investments. The savings will be much more than the investments.” In Budg2018, finance minister Arun Jaitley said the government was exploring blockchain technology to usher in the digital economy. It plans to run pilots in electronic health records, land records and digital certification.

Andhra Pradesh is the first Indian state to run pilot projects on blockchain technology, putting up land records on a public ledger. Apart from Maharashtra, Telangana, Karnataka and Gujarat are evaluating the technology for e-governance.

“Blockchain will disrupt government interdepartmental workflows as all departments would be able to see the same version of the file. The departments will be forced to collaborate among themselves,” said Prakash Jayaram, partner-advisory at global consultancy EY.

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