On Friday, the Ministry of Communications in a statement said that the Department of Posts has now extended all small savings schemes up to the Branch Post Office level to strengthen its network and postal operations in rural areas and provide the facility of small savings scheme to the vast majority in villages.
"There are 1,31,113 Branch Post Offices functioning in the rural areas. Apart from facilities of letters, Speed Post, Parcels, electronic money order, Rural Postal Life Insurance, these Branch Post Offices had been providing Post Office Savings Account, Recurring Deposit, Time Deposit and Sukanya Samriddhi Account schemes till now," the statement said.
The new order has allowed Branch Post Offices to offer facilities of Public Provident Fund, Monthly Income Scheme, National Savings Certificate, Kisan Vikas Patra and Senior Citizen Savings Schemes also.
"People living in villages will now be able to get the same Post Office Savings Bank facilities which people in urban areas have been availing. They will be able to deposit their savings into these popular schemes through the post office in their village itself," it said.
Government-backed small savings like PPF and Sukanya Samriddhi are also accessible at branches of pubic sector banks. These are popular among Indians for their tax benefits and high-interest rates.
The government has been making efforts for financial inclusion of remote areas in India. With the largest postal network in the world, post offices are being used as a medium to expand the reach of banking and financial services across the country.