Sunday, July 19, 2020
India Post adds highest number of outlets in five years in FY19
India Post is entrenching itself further in Bharat (the hinterland) by stepping up network expansion to tap the rising demand for e-commerce and financial services.
As per its latest annual report (FY20), India Post (also know 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 .
As of March –end 2019 the RPOS and UPOS stood at 1,41,001 (1,38, 882 as of March-end 2018 and 15,559 (15,649), respectively.
So, as of March 2019, India Post with a net work of 1,55,600 post offices has a bigger on-the-ground presence across the country vis-à-vis the branches (1,45,426) of all scheduled banks put together.
Even though the India has the largest postal network in the world, there continues to be a demand for opening of post offices, the postal department said.
The Department of Posts (DoP) wants to develop infrastructure, including post offices, and those relating to transportation and delivery of parcels/packets with online payment or cash on delivery, to extend the reach of the e-commerce industry to Tier II & III towns as well as to rural areas.
The deposits (current account, savings account) of India Post Payments Bank’s (IPPB) as of December-end 2019 swelled to ₹527.15 crore from ₹94.40 crore as of March-end 2019, as per the report.
Each post office functions both as a postal outlet and an access point for the Payments Bank. IPPB was set up in 2016 as a public limited company with 100 per cent government equity under DoP.
The bank primarily focuses 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