The Japanese Bankers Association called on the government Monday to stop paying civil servant salaries in cash and make all payments through bank transfers to help streamline public service operations.

The nation’s largest banker lobby made the request in a letter submitted to the Cabinet Secretariat in reference to a plan unveiled by the government earlier this year for creating an “e-government.”

The association said it welcomes the plan and stressed that the government should make the best use of information technology to cut costs and streamline operations.

According to the association, many civil servants still prefer to be paid through a combination of cash payments and bank transfers.

Under current laws, salaries for civil servants should be paid in cash in principle. Thus, only a handful of government offices have adopted the practice of paying all salaries through bank transfers.

To make cash payments, administrative staff at government offices go through time-consuming procedures, including counting money and putting cash into individual envelopes.

As for banks, they have to deliver large amounts of cash to government offices each payday and sometimes even come under pressure to give a free helping hand when counting cash and packaging pay envelopes, banking industry officials said.

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