He said that the work of system integration of the payments bank had been completed and processes mandated by the Reserve Bank of India would be completed within one week.
“It is likely that 650 branches of the India Post payments bank would start functioning from May,” he said at a press conference here.
The minister said that the launch of the postal department’s payments bank would enable more than 1.5 lakh post offices to become access points for people to avail banking services, adding that it would help the government’s plans of financial inclusion and direct transfer of benefits in remote areas.
India Post had received permission from the RBI to start a payments bank in January last year, following which it set up two branches, on a pilot basis, at Raipur and Ranchi.
He said that a new regional office of the postal department would be opened in Jabalpur in the state.
He said that India Post had been adopting new technology in a bid to provide services at a faster pace and, as part of it, postmen were being provided with smart phones and hand held devices.
“So far, 15,000 such devices have been distributed to postmen in the country. Soon 40,000 postal workers will have such devices. This would enable faster delivery of all kinds of services,” he said.
Admitting that India Post’s parcel services were lagging behind due to the presence of private players, he said that a Parcel Directorate had been formed in the postal department to give a boost to this segment.
He expressed hope that the postal department would soon be self-reliant as far as revenue was concerned.