Even as the Reserve Bank of India is expected to give Department of Posts (DoP) payment bank licence by September, there are 2,590 post offices in the country with core banking facilities, Communication and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said today.
“I want to change the profile of the post office by extending its service to the poorer section of the people. We have applied for a payment bank licence with the RBI to bring a large section of unbanked populace of the country into the banking space,” the Union Minister said.
There were only 236 post offices under core banking facilities, but after the current NDA government came to power last year, 2,590 post offices have now core banking facilities, he said.
The minister today dedicated the core banking service of Agartala Post Office and laid the foundation stone for Dimapur Mukhya Dak Ghar in Nagaland here by remote control.
At present, post offices offer savings bank accounts, but cannot have credit or overdraft facilities.
Under payment banking licence an entity would be allowed to accept deposits, facilitate remittances and payments, but cannot lend.
“I want Indian post offices to have all modern and digital facilities. I want a person working at a metropolitan city get the facility to remit money to his mother through the post office. I want women working in village community centres get medical facilities by digitally linking them with good doctors,” he said.
The minister said the Centre wants to convert the country into a Digital India where a poor person can use smartphones and avail all modern facilities.
“At present there are 98 crore mobile phones, which will cross 100 crore soon and there are 30 crore internet connections in the country, which will also increase with the growing demand,” Prasad said adding, all gram panchayats in the country would be connected with optical fibre connections.