AGARTALA, July 12 (IANS): The central government is committed to provide banking services in rural areas through modern post offices where facilities like ATM, pension account and core banking will be made available, union Communication and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said here on Sunday.
He said by next month post offices across the country would likely start payment transactions like banks.
"With the approval of Reserve Bank of India, the payment transactions would be initiated by the post offices from August," he said after inaugurating the core banking services (CBS) in the Agartala head post offices.
Prasad said the government was committed to provide banking services through modern post offices in rural areas.
The department of posts has a network of around 155,000 post offices in India, out of which, 120,000 are in rural areas.
"In the last one year, 2,590 post offices across the country have been migrated to CBS platform to transmit the money anywhere in India in less than a minute," Prasad said.
"During this period, 115 ATMs (Automated Teller Machines) under the postal department have been set up in different parts of the country and several hundred ATMs would be established in the coming months."
The minister said: "To boost the e-commerce, the post offices have taken steps to increase the quick delivery of various goods booked by people electronically using various online retailers."
"During the last one year, the delivery of post offices across the country has been increased by 37 percent, earning revenue of Rs.500 crore."
He said to make the digital India programme of the government successful, over 60,000 villages would be linked with the Apollo Hospitals through Optical Fibre Network to provide medical advises to the people of these villages.
Prasad said: "At present, India with a population of 125 crore has 98 crore mobile phone subscribers and 30 crore internet connections."
"The number of mobile phone users would go to 100 crore within this year and we would increase the internet connections to 50 crore in two years."
Chief Post Master General (Northeast circle) Smita Kumari said India Post was aiming to transform the department of post into a technology enabled and self-reliant market leader.
"Of the total of 155,000 post offices in the country, the northeast region has 2,920. India Post would also soon launch eight ATMs in the region...," she said.
Tripura Information Technology Minister Tapan Chakraborty said post offices must be strengthened in the northeast by filling up vacant posts and setting up more post offices in the rural areas.