The Union budget 2022 had an announcement on ‘Anytime-Anywhere post office savings’ that aims to cover all the post offices in the country with a core banking system to help access to accounts through internet banking, mobile banking and ATMs. This is also set to provide online transfer of funds between postal and bank accounts and will enable financial inclusion. This will be helpful, especially for farmers and senior citizens in rural areas, enabling interoperability and financial inclusion.
Post Budget Webinar on “Leaving No Citizen Behind” was organised on 23/02/2022. Budget announcement related to bringing 100 percent post offices on core banking system and interoperable post office account and its impact on the lives of rural poor especially women was discussed during the webinar.
Hon’ble Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi addressed inaugural session of the webinar. The session on “Anytime Anywhere Banking Services and Interoperable Services through India Post” under “Assuring all rural poor especially women access to livelihood options and access to financial services” was chaired by Minister of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, Shri Giriraj Singh. It was attended by experts from NITI Aayog and other agencies, and by a large section of people and stakeholders associated with post office schemes from different part of the country. Wide range of discussion took place on implementation strategy to ensure 100 percent core banking system along with deployment of interoperable service for post office accounts. Shri Vineet Pandey, Secretary(Posts) has addressed the webinar and informed that free delivery of banking services will be provided at the doorsteps of the public which reduces the distance to Zero through Micro ATM devices handled by Postmen and Gramin Dak Sevaks. Shri Ajit Pai, Distinguished Expert from NITI Aayog stressed that the post office can play a significant role in the area of credit, financial literacy and overall achievement of financial inclusion.
The Department of Posts expects more customers to open new postal savings bank accounts at post offices once the interoperability of postal and bank accounts is made possible. While existing postal customers may find it more user-friendly, it may attract more customers particularly those in rural areas and senior citizens to open new accounts
All the 11,858 post offices in Tamil Nadu Postal Circle are connected with 100% CBS. Arrangements have also been made recently to resolve internet connectivity issues. Out of the 11,858 Post Offices, 10,260 Post Offices in Rural area and 1598 Post Offices in Urban area and hence this will be very helpful for the farmers and vast public living in rural areas.
The department would initiate efforts to provide the interoperability facility of postal and banks accounts once it receives a directive from the Union Ministry of Communications.
Already Department is providing internet banking, mobile banking and ATM facilities for postal customers. Though there has not been any revision in interest rate for postal saving schemes since 2020, there has been an increasing trend in opening of postal savings accounts.
There are nearly 2.75 crores Postal Saving Scheme accounts opened across the State. During this fiscal year, nearly 27.86 lakh such accounts have been added till January 2022. Also, Tamil Nadu Postal Circle is having 26.11 lakhs Sukanya Samriddhi Accounts since inception of the scheme.
There is no doubt that the Postal Department, which has been actively implementing many savings schemes, will be able to attract a lot of customers with this budget announcement and extend its delivery of Finance and Banking services.