New Delhi: The Prime Minister's Office has taken a review of the Department of Posts with special focus on the implementation of proposals submitted by a Task Force on leveraging the DoP's post office network.
The PMO held a meeting with senior officials last week and discussed the action taken by DoP so far regarding setting up of the Payments Bank, e-commerce initiatives and modernisation of its IT infrastructure.
According to sources, the PMO is monitoring the progress made by DoP to improve its functioning and utilising the vast network of post offices across the country for financial inclusion.
Regarding the Payment Bank, the DoP in its action taken report to PMO said the Public Investment Board (PIB) in its
meeting held on 19 January discussed the Rs 800-crore proposal and is awaiting PIB's response.
"The recommendations of PIB shall thereafter be placed before the cabinet for final approval. Meanwhile, the
Department is in the process of engaging a consultant for assisting it in setting up the India Post Payments Bank; three bids were received by January 8, 2016 and are currently being evaluated," DoP said in the report.
For strengthening the e-commerce infrastructure, DoP has set up 57 new state-of-the-art parcel centres across the
country through which more than 400 e-commerce companies are being serviced.
DoP said GPS is being fitted in the outsourced and departmental vehicles to enable real-time tracking of parcel
consignments. GPS devices have been installed in 926 departmental mail vans.
The department said it is already implementing schemes for upgrading the infrastructure for handling logistics and
parcels across the country and the current Five Year Plan has an approved outlay of Rs 568.20 crore for ‘Mail Operations’ to cover such requirements.
DoP said its tariff and costing division has reviewed the tariff of various services, in the light of directions
received from the PMO and tariff for foreign mail services has been revised with effect from 1 December 2015.
The department said it had written to all the government departments, state governments and PSUs offering them its
services for social mobilisation of their schemes.
"This has resulted in tie-ups with DAVP for use of postal services for pan India distribution of its calendars up to Panchayat level. Agreement has been signed with Bharat Electronics for delivery of their sensitive equipment across 80 locations within the country through Speed Post," it said.
The department has also undertaken sale of Sovereign Gold Bonds as part of PM's Swaran Bharat Yojana on behalf of the Finance Ministry while a scheme for sale of India Gold Coins through Post Offices in collaboration with MMTC is also in final stages.