New Delhi: Communications Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad today said the government will revive the postal department by using over 1.5 lakh post offices for furthering financial inclusion and payments bank is a step towards it.
The Reserve Bank of India has granted 'in-principle' approval to Postal Department to set up payments bank.
"We have to make all the preparations in 18 months, which we will do. The Modi government is going to revive the postal segment and post payment bank is an indication to that," Prasad told reporters here.
He said that the 1.50 lakh post offices from Kashmir to Kanyakumari will play an important role in financial inclusion.
Prasad said since becoming the Communications Minister, he has tried that postal department should move forward.
"You know in e-commerce, postal department is moving forward, they have done business of about Rs 600 crore in the last 2 months," he said.
The government will soon give handheld devices to all rural post offices, he added.
The payments bank licence will enable the Department of Post (DoP) to offer banking services to the masses through its vast network of 1,54,000 post offices, of which 1,30,000 are in rural areas.
As per RBI guidelines, payments bank would offer a limited range of products such as demand deposits and remittances.
They will not be allowed to undertake lending activities and will initially be restricted to hold a maximum balance of Rs 1 lakh per customer.
They will be allowed to issue ATM or debit cards as other prepaid payment instruments, but not credit cards.
Meanwhile, regarding electronic manufacturing the Minister said, under MSIPS scheme proposals worth Rs 30,000 crore have come and approval has been given to around Rs 12,000-13,000 crore.