To give an extra boost to economy of India, Government of India is all set to metamorphosis the oldest connecting lifeline of India, Post Offices. By embracing this widely scattered network, Narendra Modi visions it to make more functional with efficiently equipped entity.

On Saturday June 11th, communication and IT minister Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad announced setting up 650 branches at all major district headquarters of India Post Payment Banks (IPPB) by September 2017 although IIPB’s would be functional from March 2017.

India Post Payment Banks can be called as wings to financial inclusion as it was one of the major key points in Prime Minister Modi’s vision book.

On addressing press, Mr. Ravishankar Prasad said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has recommended that the branches should be fully functional by September 2017.

Prasad said these payment banks under post department could be a major role player in financial inclusion.

India Post Payment banks will be facilitating to the last man of the society in terms of enabling them for digital payments, banking and other types of services. This will be lending hand to governments ambitious Antyoday.

Prasad said “the payment bank will be a technologically enabled banking platform which will give a wide range of services such as direct benefit transfers, all kinds of payments and more importantly undertake the sale of a variety of third party products”

Presently postal department has 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. Project is planning to launch the branches with a workforce of over 3.5 lakh people.

Prasad said, “Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, we want to revive and rejuvenate this oldest functional department with accelerated speed.”

Initially government will invest 800crores in project out of which 400crorewill be invested by the department and rest will be equity part.

On encouraging and calling employees together of postal department, Telecom Minister Prasad wrote a letter to all employees in which he urged “I earnestly appeal to all employees of the department and the Grameen Dak Sevaks to take pride and ownership’s in establishing the India Post Payments Bank, which truly serves the cause of Antyodaya – serving the last man standing.

In coming days, the role of all employees, including Grameen Dak Sevaks, will be very significant in successful roll out of the Payments Bank to make financial inclusion possible for every Indian.”

The potential of this program can be measured by this as many multinational companies are keenly interested to be part of this proposed IPPB’s.

Around 50 companies World Bank, Citi from America, Barclay’s from England are major names who showed their will to be part of this project for selling third party products and services.

These institutions will offer third party services like mutual funds, insurance products, banking instruments and variety of financial instruments if they join hand with government.

Although it is not decided as how much these companies will get the participation as board will decide it. But getting so much global attention itself sings the story of enormous potential of this forthcoming venture.

The reason of the speedy implementation of this program is to serve the purpose of government’s objective of financial inclusion. People will have more access to banking services.

This project has an advantage of last mile connectivity which is a shortcoming for banking system of urban players.

This will also initiate and increase financial literacy amongst citizen of India who has never been a part of banking system earlier due to lack of presence.

This would be a new rising sun for those left portion of country that resides in villages and had never been considered to be in the mainstream.

The fast initiation and implementation is required to fill all the loopholes of the system as without bringing together more than the half population in the eco-system, nation cannot imagine fulfillment of financial inclusion.

We can say as India Post Payment Banks would be new flying sharp wings towards achieving the goal of financial inclusion.

Contributor: Sudha Ram Joshi