DoP wants to distribute coins, venture into currency trade

Written by Prachi Karnik Pradhan | Mumbai, May 22 | Updated: May 24 2008, 04:26am hrs
The department of post (DoP) for a change wants to test new waters. DoP proposes to initiate distribution of coins, exchange soiled and mutilated currency notes and also venture into foreign currency exchange in Maharashtra and Goa in a bid to diversify its services and widen its customer-base. DoP has aleady sought sought clearance from the Reserve Bank of India for the proposed foray.

MP Rajan, the chief post master general, Maharashtra circle, told FE that the departments move is aimed to leverage upon full-fledged core banking operations. Our aim is to offer services that were so far confined to banks, said Rajan.

Rajan said that the department has already launched various core banking operations like the savings schemes, ATM facilities on the lines of other financial institutions, sale of mutual funds, setting up of finance marts and collection of foreign exchange remittances from abroad. The pilot project of distribution of coins and exchange of soiled currency notes has already been launched in the Jharkhand circle at the Jamshedpur, Ranchi, Bokaro, Dhanbad and Hazaribagh post offices.

The department official said that the problem of coin shortages can be addressed if they are made available to the people at the nearby post offices.

He said coins of Re 1 and Rs 2 denomination would be made available at post office counters in exchange of cash at no extra charge on the services. He promptly noted that no demand draft or cheque would be permitted in these transactions. A special counter would be reserved at the post offices. A team of dedicated staff would be deployed at this counter, he added.