The Postal Department has applied to the Reserve Bank of India for a banking licence, the Communications Minister, Mr Kapil Sibal, said here on Wednesday.
Mr Sibal said he had written to the Finance Minister, Mr Pranab Mukherjee, to expedite the granting of licence.
Speaking on the sidelines of the postal policy round table organised by FICCI, Mr Sibal said, “A national postal policy targeting expansion and modernisation of the postal network would be announced during this year. The Government does not intend to issue licences to courier service companies, but would make it mandatory for them to register.”
Aimed at modernising postal services, the policy is expected to make the department adopt a more financially viable revenue model. It would also provide affordable services at all points in the country as part of its Universal Service Obligation, the Minister said.
The Department is also expecting large-scale private sector participation in providing value added services and extending its product range beyond the current core functions.
“There are tremendous opportunities for the private corporate sector to use its ingenuity to create innovative products and delivery mechanisms through the Indian postal network,” Mr Sibal said.
India currently has 1.55 lakh post offices, 95 per cent of which are located in rural areas.