On Monday, Ravi Shankar Prasad, the Union Minister for Communications and IT stated that the India Post Payment Bank will commence its operations in March 2017. He stated that many Indian as well as foreign financial institutions including the Deutsche Bank and World Bank have approached the postal department for a partnership. Prasad addressed at the annual Governance Day conference at the ministry.
Almost 23 financial institutions such as ICICI Bank, Deutsche Bank, World Bank and Barclays Bank have expressed their interest to tie up with India Post. He said that the financial approval for the payment bank was received in August from the Central Bank and it will be cleared first by the Public Investment Board followed by the Cabinet.
Prasad and a few other chief officials of the ministry announced many initiatives covering the departments of posts, telecom, and electronics and IT. The highlights includes the introduction of a National Center of Geo-Informatics that will be a platform for collaborating and sharing GIS data source as well as local based analytics. These will help the state and central governments in decision making, planning and electronic delivery of services.
He also announced a mobile app for Digital Locker that is a marquee scheme under the platform of Digital India. Prasad inaugurated public Wi-Fi hotspots at Ajmer and Haridwar, and stated that such hotspots have been set up around 500 places spanning 200 cities. The same will be extended to 2,500 places by March next year.
It was also announced that MTNL will provide free roaming to the customers from January 1. Also, BSNL provided free incoming calls on roaming to the customers earlier this year. The threshold for broadband limit has risen from 512 kbps to 2 Mbps, and the mobile towers will be established in Naxal affected regions of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.