To leverage the assets of postal network, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said post offices in rural areas can be used to deliver various services and information to the individual households.
He also said the postal network can become a driving force for the economy, similar to the Indian Railways, and the huge assets held by the Postal department across the country can be suitably used for the benefit of the people, he said.
Modi, speaking after the presentation of a report by the task force on leveraging India's post office network, said post offices in rural areas can be used to deliver services and important government information to individual households.
Modi has directed that recommendations of the task force be studied in detail within a short period of time, so that necessary follow-up action can be initiated, an official statement said.
Minister for Communication and IT Ravi Shankar Prasad was also present. The presentation on behalf of the task force was given by its Chairman, TSR Subramanian.
Modi said, postman along with the teacher, is the most respected government employee in rural areas.
Modi had set up the Task Force last year 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 eCommerce firms.
In December last year, the Task Force had submitted its report to Prasad. It noted that with its Rs 6 lakh crore in deposits, India Post is second only to the country's largest bank SBI.
The 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 holding company should have five different verticals, and three of them -- banking, insurance and e-commerce -- can start working immediately.
It added that e-commerce could be the second largest activity after banking that DoP can foray into for emerging as one of biggest players in the world.
The panel also 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 Prime Minister's Jan Dhan Yojana can compliment each other for financial inclusion, Subramanian said.
Source : The Economic Times