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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Post Office always be on forefront of financial inclusion in India: Venkaiah

Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting M Venkaiah Naidu has said that the Post Office has always been on the forefront of financial inclusion in India.

He said based on the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act 2014, Andhra Pradesh Postal Circle and Telangana State Postal Circle were created.

Speaking after formally inaugurating the Telangana Postal Circle here today in the presence of Union Minister of State for Communication (I/c) Manoj Sinha, Union Minister of State for Labour and Employment Bandaru Dattatreya and Telangana Chief Postmaster General Brig B Chadrasekhar, Mr Naidu said that Indian Postal Banks would promote financial inclusion in every corner of the country through combined network of bank and Post Offices that will act as access points. They would provide simple financial products like current and saving accounts, credit, insurance, mutual fund, pensions. They would also bring large number of individuals and small business into formal banking channel. Its effect would be transformational, he said.

Mr Naidu said India has the largest postal network in the world. There was 1,54,939 post offices in India of which 1,39,222 (almost 90 percent) were in rural areas. At the time of independence there were 23,344 post offices, mostly in urban areas.

He said Post Office Saving Bank (POSB) had a customer base of 33.03 crore as on March 31, 2015. The number of saving accounts in post offices went up by 3 crore within one year of NDA government coming to office. The total number of accounts including Recurring Deposit, MIS, MNREGA, Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana went up by 5 crores in the corresponding period, he said.

The Minister said in the recent times the Post Offices have reinvented their role in rural narrative. The MNREGA payments were being disbursed through them. There were 1,94,46,820 MNREGA accounts in Andhra Pradesh Post Offices as on March 31, 2014. The number has dramatically risen to 2,25,31,756 as on March 31, 2015. The amount disbursed rose from Rs 1296.79 crore to 2187.53 crore.

He said the Postal Department has rolled out Banking Solution (CBS) in 9,583 Post Offices and ATMs have been installed at 125 locations, Debit cards have been issued to Post Office Savings Bank customers. Money remittance service to customers in India from around 195 countries on a real time basis was being operated in association with Western Union and Money Gram from 9,943 and 6,070 locations respectively. The Minister said " Department of Posts is in the process of setting up India Post Payment Banks (IPPB) with 100 percent Government Equity. The task is likely to be completed by September, 2017 when all IPPB branches and their linkages with all Post Offices across the country will be completed".

Mr Naidu suggested to celebrate "'Hand written letter writing day" across the country because handwritten letters have an emotional value for us. This is at risk of being lost completely in this age of electronic keyboards. This generation or future generations may not know this at all. "There is no wrong with celebrating "hand written Letter writing day" like mother day, father day and among others Days", he said.
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