India Post will launch its payment bank by March 2017, Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said today.
As many as 40 international financial conglomerates, including World Bank and Barclays, have shown interest to partner with Postal Department for the payment bank, Prasad said on the sidelines of an event on Good Governance.
"We will start the postal payment bank by March 2017," the Minister said. The Reserve Bank granted in-principle approval to 11 applicants, including Postal Department, in August to set up payments banks. The Department of Electronics and Information Technology is celebrating Good Governance Week, from December 25, 2015.
The Minister also launched 23 products and services including Wi-Fi hotspots at Har ki Pauri, Haridwar and Dargah Sharif, Ajmer and BPO promotion scheme, among others, on the occasion. He said after the successful turnaround of BSNL, new initiatives have been taken for improving performance of MTNL also.
Besides, Prasad announced the launch of free incoming all over the country by MTNL from next year. Regarding the BharatNet project, the Minister said as of December 20, about 79,593 kilometres of optical fibre has been laid in 33,702 gram panchayats.
"By March, we will reach 50,000 gram panchayats and one lakh gram panchayats by the end of next year," he said. Prasad also reiterated the commitment of the government towards the implementation of 'Digital India' programme.
The Minister said e-services should reach more people at the earliest and sought cooperation from state governments, industry and academia in the early achievement of this objective.