Union Minister for Urban Development, Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation M. Venkaiah Naidu inaugurated Telangana Postal Circleat Ravindra Bharati Auditorium this morning. Union ministers Manoj Sinha and Bandaru Dattatraya were present.
Speaking on the occasion, Venkaiah Naidu said India has the largest postal network in the world with 1,54,939 post offices of which 1,39,222 (almost 90 percent) are in rural areas. At the time of independence, there were 23,344 post offices mostly in urban areas, he said, adding that undivided Andhra Pradesh Postal Circle had 16,155 post offices as on March 31, 2015 and it had 47, 831 letter boxes out of which 39,977 in rural areas and 7854 in urban areas. The Union Minister said the Post Office has always been on the forefront of financial inclusion in India. Post Office Saving Bank (POSB) had a customer base of 33.03 crore as on March 31, 2015. There has been a sharp increase in it due to the welfare schemes. Venkaiah said this year marks the introduction of 250th year of introduction of regular postal system in India by Lord Clive in 1766. But it was not before the Post Office Act, 1854 that it was organized on all India basis. The NDA government has re-launched the Kisan Vikas Patra w.e.f. November 18, 2014 vended through post offices. They were earlier discontinued in 2011.
The Postal Department has rolled out Banking Solution (CBS) in 9,583 Post Offices and ATMs have been installed at 125 locations; Debit cards have been issued to Post Office Savings Bank customers. Money remittance service to customers in India from around 195 countries on a real time basis is being operated in association with Western Union and Money Gram from 9,943 and 6,070 locations, respectively.
In the wake of bifurcation of united Andhra Pradesh into AP and Telangana States, the Department of Posts will have a Postal Circle co-terminus with each State. Therefore, Andhra Pradesh Postal Circle was required to be divided into two Postal Circles viz. Andhra Pradesh Postal Circle and Telangana Postal Circle. The Telangana Postal Circle will have 10 Revenue Districts co-terminus with the Telangana State.
In the unified Andhra Pradesh Postal Circle, there were five Postal Regions viz., Hyderabad City, Hyderabad, Vijayawada, Kurnool and Visakhapatnam. After creation of Telangana Postal Circle, Hyderabad City and Hyderabad Regions have become the part of this Circle covering 10 Revenue Districts. Khammam,Vijayawada, Kurnool and Visakhapatnam Regions are part of the residual Andhra Pradesh Postal Circle covering 13 Revenue Districts. From now onwardsTelangana Postal Circle and Andhra Pradesh Postal circle will cater to respective states. It will increase efficiency for both. Andhra Pradesh Postal circle will get a new headquarter at an appropriate time, he said.
Due to the bifurcation of erstwhile AP Postal Circle into Telangana and AP, the Union Government will be able to reach the citizens in efficient manner and ensure that the fruits of governance are reached properly to the beneficiaries. The Telangana Postal Circle is playing a major role in ensuring financial inclusion. On an average 17.7 lakh Social Security pensions disbursed amounting Rs 210 crore every month. On an average Rs 900 crore is being disbursed to the wage-seekers in Telangana Postal Circle under MGNREGA through Aaadhaar enabled bio-metric system. As a result of the Aadhaar enabled payment system, leakage of government funds is nil as the amount reaches the beneficiaries directly with his or her bio-metric (finger print authentication).
Since there is a separate Postal Circle for Telangana, human resources are augmented with creation of Chief Postmaster General post and other functional posts. This will help in focusing on the development of Telangana region by ensuring proper services to the public.
With a better focused approach people can receive the letters quite faster and have variety of services in tune with the policy of the State and Central Government in the form of tie ups. At present, the services of Telangana Postal Circle are utilised for several schemes like bill collections, sale of non-judicial stamp papers etc. Since separate Postal Circle is formed, the plan funds utilization will be more optimal in creating infrastructure of assets like PO buildings and mail processing centers.
Since the geographical spread is manageable, the Postal Circle can fully tap the emerging new markets like e-commerce and ensure bridging the digital divide by creating state of the art service providing centres in the form of Core Banking Solutions, rural information and communication technology, setting up of India Post Payment Banks etc.
The Department of Posts is actively bringing in technology of Core Banking Solutions, by networking the Post Offices across India so as to have common platform for rendering hassle free service to the customers. In this process, ATMs have been set up and debit cards have been issued. The services like inter-operable net banking will be expanded soon.
Department is actively pursuing the financial inclusion agenda of the Government and bringing in technology to bridge the digital divide in the form of Rural ICT which will essentially help rural people to have state of the art IT enabled services without moving to neighbouring towns.
Department of Posts is given the license for setting up of Payment Bank and 650 Bank branches will be made operational by September 2017 across India. All Departmental Post Offices will have the facility of payment bank transactions for the public.
Department of Posts is actively pursuing the Prime Minister Schemes of Atal Pension Yojana(APY), Prime Minister Jan Jeevan Beema Yojana (PMJJBY), Prime Minister Suraksha Beema Yojana (PMSBY) and Sukanya Samriddhi Account (SSA). (NSS)