India's postal department announced its decision to convert the India Post Payments Bank into a small finance bank to allow it to offer small loans to customers.
Besides that, it was decided at the annual Heads of Circles Conference held at Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir between 29 and 31 July to adopt a 100-day action plan and a five-year vision to align the Department of Posts with the Prime Minister's "New India" initiative.
It also said that it is looking to open one crore accounts for IPPB in 100 days.
A statement from the postal department informed that the decision included "Converting the India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) into a Small Finance Bank (SFB) to provide micro credit at the doorsteps to individuals and SME's. Targeting the milestone of one crore accounts for IPPB in 100 days" among several other steps.
India Post will partner with Common Service Centre to provide a suite of citizen centric services such as banking, remittance, insurance, DBT (direct benefit transfer), bill and tax payments etc at post offices, the statement said.
Further, the postal department will invest in 190 parcel hubs, 80 Nodal Delivery Centers and a Pan India Road Transport Network in order to develop infrastructure to extend the reach of the e-commerce industry to tier 2 and 3 towns as well as to rural areas.
Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad at the conference urged the officers of the Department at all levels to think to reform and perform in order to transform.
"In particular, he asked the Heads of Circles to leverage technology to strengthen Digital India by adopting Artificial intelligence, IOT and Cloud computing for citizen centric services," the statement said.