Decision On Opening Indian Postal Bank To Be Taken Soon – Shakeel Ahmad

Shimla: With the Indian postal services already offering deposit and savings schemes, the government is likely to soon float an Indian Postal Bank as the matter is awaiting approval of the finance ministry, Shakeel Ahmad, minister of state for communication and information technology, stated here today.

He said that the matter of opening the Indian Postal Bank was under consideration of the government and had been put before the finance ministry. “A final decision would soon be taken,” he said. It would help to extend banking services into many rural areas, he added.

The government would be spending Rs 6,000 crore for computerizing the whole postal network. “Despite a drop in mail services, the world’s largest postal service was still effectively serving 72 percent of the country’s population,” said Ahmad.

Looking to add other services, many post offices had started offering railway booking facilities in the country. Local tie-ups for making available low airline tickets through post offices was also being explored and had already been started in Karnataka state, the minister informed.

He said that as part of e-governance, the government was spending Rs 6,000 crore for setting up 1 lakh community service centres, one for each panchayat in the country by 2009.

Talking about expansions plans of BSNL, he said only recently tenders for additional 4.5 crore new lines had been floated. He added that 2G spectrum had been allotted and 3G spectrums would be soon handed out through an open auction system.

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