Post offices to provide banking services soon

Agartala, July 12 (IANS) By August post offices across India will start providing services such as ATMs and similar banking services, Communication and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said on Sunday.

The central government is committed to providing facilities like ATMs, pension account and core banking through modern post offices all over the country, he said.

“With the approval of the Reserve Bank of India, the payment transactions would be initiated by post offices from August,” he said after opening the core banking services (CBS) in the Agartala head post office.

There are around 155,000 post offices in India, of which 120,000 are in rural areas.

“In the last one year, 2,590 post offices across the country have been migrated to CBS platform to transmit money anywhere in India in less than a minute,” Prasad said.

“During this period, 115 ATMs under the postal department have been set up in the country and several hundred ATMs would be established in the coming months.”

The minister said: “To boost e-commerce, post offices have taken steps to increase the quick delivery of various goods booked by people electronically using various online retailers.”

In the last one year, post offices earned Rs.500 crore with improved services, he said.

He said to make the digital India programme a success, over 60,000 villages would be linked with Apollo Hospitals through Optical Fibre Network to provide medical advises to the people of these villages.

Prasad said: “At present, India with a population of 125 crore, has 98 crore mobile phone subscribers and 30 crore internet connections.

“The number of mobile phone users would go to 100 crore within this year, and we would increase the internet connections to 50 crore in two years.”

Chief Post Master General (Northeast circle) Smita Kumari said India Post was aiming to transform the department of post into a technology enabled and self-reliant market leader.

“Of the 155,000 post offices in the country, the northeast region has 2,920. India Post would also soon launch eight ATMs in the region,” she said.

Tripura Information Technology Minister Tapan Chakraborty said post offices must be strengthened in the northeast by filling up vacant posts and setting up more post offices in rural areas.

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