Chennai: Country's first Post Office Savings Bank ATM was inaugurated in Chennai today by Finance Minister P Chidambaram as a part of the government's Rs. 4,909 crore IT modernisation scheme for the Department of Posts.
After launching the ATM service at Thiyagaraya Nagar Head Post Office (HPO), Chidambaram said that Rs. 4,909 crore had been allocated for the IT modernisation of Department of Posts in the interim budget for 2014-15.
"The IT modernisation scheme is aimed at making Department of Posts a completely technology-oriented one and today's initiative is a step in that regard," he said.
The IT modernisation scheme would cover 1.55 lakh Post offices and would be implemented by next year, he added.
Speaking about the newly launched ATM service at the HPO, Chidambaram said that while it will initially operate in a closed environment for about six months, it will later change to 'inter-operability,' on the lines of bank ATMs, allowing customers to withdraw money from any ATM.
About Department of Posts, Chidambaram said that while questions were being raised about its future, especially in the wake of dip in use of letters and postcards, it was adopting new strategies and was therefore on the growth path.
Still a large number of people believe that Department of Posts is the best in courier and parcel delivery areas, he added.