Subramanian Committee on Leveraging the Post Office Network on 4 December 2014 submitted its report to the Union Ministry of Communications and Information Technology. The objective of the Committee was to transform the Post Office Network in keeping with changing market trends and competition.
The committee has made around 181 recommendations to make the post office competitive and efficient. These recommendations ranges from formulation of a New Postal Law to New Organisational design of India Post to Extension of Post Office network in Rural areas.
Following are the recommendations made by Committee:
• Committee has suggested creation of a Postal Bank of India (PBI), which would work independently within the postal department with banking professionals.
• It has also suggested setting up of three subsidiaries as a part of a holding company under the postal department for extending services in the fields of banking, e-commerce and insurance.
• The task force has also recommended to launch the proposed postal bank through an Act of the Parliament and not by approaching the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) which would make it easier for the government to take a decision in this regard even if the RBI has objections to it.
• It has recommended widening the ambit of work for India Post.
• It has said that India Post would not only run as a payment bank but also as a full-fledged commercial bank, which would help in financial inclusion with its 1.5 lakh postal offices across the country.
• It has also made several other recommendations to leverage the vast network of India Post and its local knowledge across regions in the country.
• The panel said commercial banks have reached only to urban cities and towns but postal banks will cover interior villages which have largely been excluded from banking services. This would be a major boost to govenrment’s financial inclusion in real sense.
• The committee claimed that with restructuring of India Post and establishing postal bank and involving e-commerce and other services, it would add 5 lakh more jobs.
Government constituted the committee to review the operations of India Post headed by former Cabinet Secretary TSR Subramanian in August 2014.
Other members of the panel include Ravindra H Dholakia of IIM, Ahmedabad, former Sebi chairman GN Bajpai and former Infosys board member TV Mohandas Pai amongst other top officials from the government.
India Post has around 1.4 lakh post offices in rural areas and handles savings deposits of 600000 crore rupees and postal insurance of over 40000 crore rupees, which is just next to India’s largest bank, the state run State Bank of India.
It has already started connecting all its branches through internet and ATMs across the country.
When: 4 December 2014