The government proposes to utilize the vast postal network to increase the access of the people to the formal financial system, Union finance minister Arun Jaitley said while presenting the Union Budget 2015-16 in Lok Sabha on Saturday.
In this context, the government proposes to utilize the vast postal network with nearly 1,54,000 points of presence spread across the villages of the country. “I hope that the postal department will make its proposed Payments Bank venture successful so that it contributes further to the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana,” said Jaitley.
A task force led by TSR Subramanian, former cabinet secretary, had suggested that government should leverage the post offices network of the country for extending services in the fields of banking, insurance and e-commerce.
Subramanian, after submitting the report, had said that as banking and financial services were not available in most of the over six lakh villages of the country, it was felt that a ‘Post Bank of India’ which is professionally organised should contribute for financial inclusion of the rural poor. He also hoped that there could be a creation of over five lakh new jobs over next 3 to 5 years. He pointed out that state governments were also keen on the prospects of implementation of the recommendations of this task force.
“Since the postmen will now be expected to deliver a variety of services in the rural areas, including banking and financial services, the rural post office should increase the staff to two,” the report suggested.