Communications Minister Manoj Sinha on Monday said the government is working on establishing 650 branches for India Post Payments Bank to facilitate financial inclusion, and unveiled two new offerings by the postal department.

“For India Post Payments Bank...we will be opening nearly 650 branches across India. Two, namely in Raipur and Ranchi, have already started. The aim is that through 650 post payments bank, we can push financial inclusion in 1.55 lakh villages,” Sinha said.

Sinha exhorted postal employees to continue reorienting themselves with technological changes and disruptions in order to bring innovative offerings to consumers, while upholding the societal values.

“With the way technology is changing, it is good to link yourself with technology but department’s values too have to be maintained, and that is the biggest challenge,” he said highlighting the long history of Indian postal services, particularly the significance of the postman in rural India.

The Minister, who was speaking at an event to commemorate the National Postal Week (October 9-15), also announced two new offerings — International Tracked Packet Service and e-IPO (Indian Postal Order).

The e-IPO was launched in denominations of ₹20, ₹50 and ₹100 and now can be used for fee payment for educational institutions and other purposes.

The e-IPO has been rolled out as a pilot project in Bihar, Delhi and Karnataka and is expected to be launched in the entire country in the next two months.

The Minister said the Indian postal department has undergone a major transformation over the years, be it inter-operability of ATMs, core banking or providing of Passport Seva and Aadhaar enrolment.

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