Manoj Sinha, the Union Minister of State for Communications said that around 650 branches of the India Post Payments Bank are likely to start its operations across the country by next month, reports from PTI.
He said that the process of system integration of the Payments Bank is completed and the processes authorized by the Reserve Bank of India will be completed within a period of one week.
"It is likely that 650 branches of the India Post payments bank would start functioning from May," he announced at a press conference.
The minister also added that the launch of the postal department's payments bank will enable more than 1.5 lakh post offices in the country to be the access points for the people to avail the banking services. It will also lead to support the government's plan for the financial inclusion and direct transfer of benefits in remote areas.
RBI had granted permission for India Post to start Payments Bank last year during the month of January, after which two branches were started on a pilot basis at Raipur and Ranchi.
A new regional office of the postal department will be opened in Jabalpur.
He further added that India Post is adopting new technology as an initiative to provide services at a brisk measure and as a part of it, postmen are being provided with handheld devices and smartphones.
"So far, 15,000 such devices have been distributed to postmen in the country. Soon 40,000 postal workers will have such devices. This would enable faster delivery of all kinds of services," he said.
The minister admitted that India Post's Parcel Services is underdeveloped, due to the major presence of private players. A parcel directorate is formed to give a breakthrough to this segment.
As far as revenue is concerned, the minister asserted that the postal department will soon be self-sufficient.
Speaking about milestones achieved by his department in the past one year, Sinha said, "A total of 62,000 out of 1.29 lakh post offices were networked under the Digital Advancement of Rural Post Office for a New India (DARPAN) project. New technology enabled services are being offered in rural areas through handheld devices," he said.
Currently, over Seven lakh passport applications are processed through 187 passport Seva Kendra (PSK) operating out of post offices.
Manoj Sinha holds independent charge of the Ministry of Communications. He was addressing the India Post conference at Bhopal. The conference was attended by senior officials including Postal Services Board members, the Director General (POSTS) and Secretary (Posts).
The conference was organized to analyze the postal departments past year performance.