A file picture of woman postal attendants at work (Pic: AFP)
The government is likely to earmark Rs 1,300 crore for the India Post to enable it to make foray into the banking space. "The expenditure finance commission will meet this month and finalise the fund to be provided to India Post for the proposed Post Bank of India," a finance ministry official told PTI.
The Department of Post, which has applied to the Reserve Bank for a new bank licence, had last month approached the finance ministry for sanctions of Rs 1,300 crore for its banking foray and to meet the capital requirements.
The Department of Post (DoP) plans to launch banking operations from its 50 branches in the first year and scale it to a total of 150 branches in 5 years.
The amount would include Rs 500 crore paid-up capital required under new banking licence guidelines.
India Post, which has over 1.54 lakh post offices across the country, would be using its existing network to provide banking services and bring in financial inclusion.
Of the 1.54 lakh, over 1.39 lakh branches are in rural areas and 15,736 are in urban regions.
There are around 90,000 bank branches in the country and provision of real-time banking services through postal network is estimated to triple the current banking network.
The Post Bank of India is proposed to be owned by DoP, but with a completely independent board, governance structure and operations. It will have representation from Finance Ministry, Ministry of Communication & IT, besides independent directors on its board.
The RBI is expected to allocate new bank licence to eligible applicants only by end of this fiscal.