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Post office to turn into post bank

Your post office will soon be your post bank too, reports HT Correspondent.

india Updated: Feb 07, 2007 04:22 IST

Your post office will soon be your post bank too.

“We have enough manpower and we will be able to provide better banking services,” says Union Minister of State for Telecommunication and Information Technology Shakeel Ahmad.

Talking to HT, the minister said in view of the challenges before the post offices, there was a need for the move and his government was studying the proposal to convert the post offices into post banks.

Shakeel, who was here to participate in a marriage ceremony, said India had the largest postal services system in the world. “There are one lakh post offices in India alone while the entire world may be having seven lakh post offices altogether. There are over 14 crore account holders in the Indian post offices having a deposit of around Rs 37,50,000 crore. We have the settings and we have discussed the issue with Ministry of Finance,” he added.

Responding to a question, he said after the change the post offices would also provide loans.

Ahmad said that the Union government had decided to develop a community information centre at the panchayat level across the country. All these centres would have a telephone, fax machine and Internet facilities for which government had earmarked Rs 6 crore.

Admitting that private players had posed a serious challenge before the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited mobile services, he said government had plans to provide more facilities to the BSNL mobile owners. He said around 22-lakh new mobile connections would be provided in 2007-08.

Ahmad said the Union government was monitoring the situation in Gorakhpur and proper steps would be taken at an appropriate time.

Replying to a question regarding the performance of Nitish Kumar government in Bihar, Ahmad said though the people of Bihar had hoped for improvement in situation, the government had miserably failed to come up to the expectations of the people.