Union Minister for Communications and Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad has stated that the Centre would invest Rs.800 crore in the proposed India Post payments bank, which is expected to become operational by March next. Half of it would be from the Department of Posts/Centre and the remaining would be equity.
An additional Rs.400 crore would be mobilised as equity for the payments bank, to which the Reserve Bank of India had already given clearance, the Minister said here on Sunday while speaking on the sidelines of the three-day annual conference of heads of circles of the Department of Posts.
The payments bank would also offer third-party services of about 50 Indian and overseas financial institutions including insurance products, mutual funds, banking instruments and debt-equity and the board of the bank would decide the modalities of extending such services. “World Bank, Citi Bank, Deutsch Bank, Barclays and several others have already expressed their intent to partner with the India Post payments bank”, the Minister said.
Stating that payments bank would become a big platform for financial inclusion in the country, the Union Minister said performance of the Department of Posts had improved considerably during the last two years. He pointed out that from 2 per cent negative growth in revenue from parcel service as part of e-commerce in 2013-14, it went up by 45 per in 2014-15 and by 81 per cent in 2015-16.
The CAG had termed India Post speed post service best courier service in the country and its revenue was up by 8 per cent during 2015-16 compared to the previous year. With 1,54,939 post offices across the country, including 1,29,379 in rural areas, the Department of Posts had played a key role in financial inclusion by having 85.28 lakh accounts with a deposit of over Rs.4,500 crore in Sukanya Samriddhi accounts against just 4 lakh accounts achieved by all other banks put together, Mr. Ravi Shankar Prasad said.
As part of digitisation and technological up-gradation, the department would soon introduce hand-held devices to 1.3 lakh rural postal staff for speedy and efficient banking, insurance and delivery services.
The Minister said 4,000 devices were already being used on pilot basis in six States including Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar.
World Bank, Citi Bank, ready to partner with India Post: Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad
Source : http://www.thehindu.com