Post Bank of India


Ajit Kumar AJIT KUMARWISDOM IAS, New Delhi.

Indian postal department is planning to start a bank, to be tentatively called the Post Bank of India. With a network of over 1.55 lakh post offices, the department already provides various financial services including a post office savings bank (POSB), postal life insurance, pension payments and money transfer services.
 
Once the Post Bank is set up, the government plans to take it public or gradually increase public participation to raise funds after converting the vast post office network into a commercial bank.

India Post has 1.4 lakh rural branches, while all other banks put together have about 35,000 rural banks most of which are not in rural panchayat towns.

Prime Minister of India had set up a task force in 2014 to leverage the postal network in India and to enhance the role of India Post in financial inclusion, among other services like delivery of goods for e-commerce firms. The task force's report suggested that the government should set up a holding company under the Department of Posts for immediate roll out of banking, insurance and e-commerce services by the 1.55 lakh strong postal network. The panel suggested establishing Post Bank of India as a separate entity with a branch in each district in the first three years with initial capital of Rs 500 crore to be funded by the government. Post Bank of India and the Jan Dhan financial inclusion scheme can complement each other.

The idea of Post Bank of India was first mooted in 2006, when it was announced that India Post would open a bank to erase its Rs 1,000 crore deficit during the 11th Five Year Plan.

Of India Post's 1.55 lakh post offices, more than 1.39 lakh are in rural areas. On an average, a post office serves an area of 21.21 sq. km and a population of 7,175 people.


Friday, 11th Mar 2016, 11:58:10 AM

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