South India’s first India Post Payment Bank (IPPB) will become functional in June on Museum Road in Bengaluru. It will be networked with 650 IPPB branches across the country.
The country’s first two branches of IPPB were opened in January, at Ranchi in Jharkhand and Raipur in Chhattisgarh.
The IPPB branches are to be established in different districts of the State by December 2017 in a phased manner. The aim is to have a branch in every district and make postmen come alive in payment bank function, according to Charles Lobo, chief postmaster general, Karnataka Circle, Bengaluru. The bank will not be involved in lending activities, unlike private or nationalised banks. It will primarily focus on products of financial inclusion and direct benefit transfer, Mr. Lobo said.
The IPPB will confine its activities to acceptance of demand deposits, remittance services, Internet banking and other specified services, primarily to cater to banking requirements of individuals and small businesses.
Passport Seva Kendras
Meanwhile, enthused by the success of a pilot project on utilising the post office as a Passport Seva Kendra in Mysuru, the Ministry of External Affairs has now decided to scale up this programme by opening such facilities in more head post offices in Karnataka.
To meet a long-standing demand of people, Passport Seva Kendras will become operational in head post offices in Belagavi, Davangere and Hassan in June. The MEA is also keen on opening seva kendras in other district post offices in the State where 1,000 sq.ft of space is available at the district post office, Mr. Lobo said. The MEA has proposed to open post office Passport Seva Kendras at 811 head post offices across the country by March 2018. As of now, the service is available in 42 post offices across India. Employees of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and India Post together provide service in these kendras.
At present, the people of these districts have to visit Bengaluru to submit their applications; and the offices are often overcrowded. Mr. Lobo said some senior officials of the passport office in Bengaluru would be deputed for a few days to train officials of the Postal Department on how to examine and process passport applications. The service centre will process, verify and send applications to the main passport office located in Bengaluru.
The Passport Seva Kendra at the post office in Metagalli, Mysuru, caters to the needs of Mysuru, Chamarajanagar, Kodagu and Mandya districts. Mysuru sees heavy international passenger traffic and is the second largest IT centre in the State.