IBEF: July 09, 2020
India Post is establishing itself further in Bharat (the hinterland) by stepping up network expansion to take advantage of the rising demand for e-commerce and financial services.
According to its latest annual report (FY20), India Post (also known as the Department of Posts) opened 1,119 rural post offices (RPOs) in FY19, the highest in the last five years, against 815 in FY18 and 112 in FY17.
At the same time, the number of urban post offices (UPOs) decreased by 50 in FY19 against 249 in FY18 and 57 in FY17.
As of March-end 2019, the RPOs and UPOs stood at 1,41,001 (1,39,882 as of March-end 2018) and 15,599 (15,649), respectively.
India Post has a network of 1,56,600 post-offices, as of March-end 2019. It has presence bigger on-the-ground across the country as compared to the branches (1,45,426) of all scheduled commercial banks put together.
According to the postal department, India has the largest postal network in the world and the demand continues increase for opening of post offices.
The Department of Posts (DoP) plans to develop infrastructure, including post offices, and those relating to transportation and delivery of parcels/packets with online payment or cash on delivery, to expand the reach of the e-commerce industry to Tier II and III towns as well as to rural areas.
As per the report, the deposits (current account, savings account) of India Post Payments Bank’s (IPPB) as of December-end 2019 increased to Rs 527.15 crore (US$ 74.78 million) from Rs 94.40 crore (US$ 13.19 million) as of March-end 2019.
Each post office operates both as a postal outlet and an access point for the Payments Bank. IPPB was established in 2016 as a public limited company with 100 per cent government equity under DoP.
The bank mainly focusses on serving social sector beneficiaries, migrant labourers, unorganised sector employees, Micro-Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), low-income households, and the unbanked and under-banked segments in both the rural and urban areas.
IPPB’s product suite includes savings account and current account; money transfer; direct benefit transfer; distribution of third-party products; bill and utility payments; and enterprise and merchant payments
Disclaimer: This information has been collected through secondary research and IBEF is not responsible for any errors in the same.