India Post Payments Bank Will Be Functional By March 17: Ravi Shankar Prasad
India Post's payments bank will start functioning from March 2017 and
serve as a wider platform to implement financial inclusion programmes,
IT & Communications Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said on Sunday.
"We are going to start the postal
payments bank by March 2017. Very soon we will go to the Cabinet and
postal payments bank will become operational from March 2017," Prasad
told reporters here.
He said the proposed India Post
payments bank will have immense potential to sell third party product
and services. About 50 companies, including some from abroad, are keen
to partner with postal department for the payments bank, like World
Bank, Citi from America, Barclay's from England, he said.
Reacting to a query, he said
these institutions will offer third party services like insurance
products, mutual funds, banking instruments and a variety of financial
instruments. Asked on the interest shown by these institutions, the
minister said, "...that board will decide, I'm only saying value
addition of postal department it is attracting so much global
attention." "...they will decide how much to give them. It is a call
they will take," he said.
The payments bank of postal
department will become a big platform of financial inclusion, Prasad
said. "We are going to invest about Rs 800 crore -- Rs 400 crore will be
invested by the department and the remaining amount will be equity
part (mobilised as equity)," he said.
"Postal department has the widest
network in India. We have 1,54,939 post offices in the country, out of
that 25,560 are departmental post offices and 1,29,379 are branch post
offices," he said.
"Under (Prime Minister) Narendra
Modi, we have decided to re-energise the postal department for India's
growth and financial inclusion," he further said. In August 2015, the
RBI had given in-principle approval to 11 entities to start payments
bank, including the postal department.
The approval is valid for 18
months and all the entities are required to submit a detailed business
plan after which they shall be given the final nod.
All India Association of Inspectors and Astt. Supdtts of Posts Jammu and Kashmir Circle