Digital India summit: Post offices pip SBI to have largest core banking footprint, says Ravi Shankar Prasad
Listing out the achievements of the Government as it looks to complete two years in power, Minister for Communication and Information Technology, Ravi Shankar Prasad today said during his tenure and because of a sustained push, 20494 post offices have been connected under core banking solution, which is more than the 16333 enabled core banking branches of State Bank of India ( SBI).
"I pushed my postal service to go digital, because postal service digitization is integral to digital India. The first thing we pushed was core banking solution, which means banking from anywhere. We have 25,000 district and sub-post offices that needed to be digitized. When I had become Minister only 230 post offices had core banking. Today, 20494 post offices have come under core banking solution and we will complete the remaining by April this year. Core banking linkage of post office is bigger than that of the State Bank of India," said Prasad at the Times Network organized Digital India Summit & Awards 2016.
Prasad added that the number of ATMs in post offices has increased from 4 when he took over as the minister to 850 today and by April the number will rise to 1000. "By March next year we will bring in the payment bank of the postal department," said Prasad.
Prasad listed another key achievement of his Ministry, which is the delivery of e-commerce consignments. "Parcel revenue had dipped by 2% in 2013-14, it rose by 45% in 2014-15 and now has risen by 120% by January 2015-16. This is the scale we have been able to achieve," said Prasad.
Stating that digital infrastructure is important and has revolutionary potential, Prasad said that when he became the Minister the total length of pipes laid out was 2092 kms and optical fiber was at 398 kms. "Today, in less than two years we have laid pipes in 1,30,000 kms of pipes and optical fiber of 1,10,000 kms," said Prasad.
The Minister went on to add that the number of Common Service Centers has increased from 83000 units when he took over to 157000 today. Next year the government plans to scale it by another 1 lakh units. Of these, 20,000 are being run by women entrepreneurs. He added that the government would also be pushing a BPO call centre programme in a big way to ensure Digital India as a mission percolates to even the smaller towns.