Kolkata: Union Minister for Information and Technology and Communications Ravi Shankar Prasad on Sunday said rural post offices across the country will also function as common service centres (CSCs) and provide e-services.
He said this while asserting that the postal department played a crucial role in bringing in digital revolution in the country.
“Our vision of digital India is to ensure that from a mason to barber to a tyre-puncture repairer, all can access newer avenues of growth using communications equipment like a smart phone,” said Prasad while inaugurating the revamped building of Bhowanipore post office.
“We are also committed to developing E-commerce, E-education and E-health. This is the larger vision of digital India. And in this digital India initiative, rural post offices have a very crucial role to play.
“We have decided that all the 1.30 lakh rural post offices should also become common service centres (CSCs) to further provide services,” the minister added.
Implemented under the National e-Governance Plan and formulated by the Department of Electronics and Information Technology, the CSCs are ICT-enabled front end service delivery points at the village-level for delivery of government, financial, social and private sector services in the areas of agriculture, health, education, entertainment, FMCG products, banking, insurance, pension, utility payments etc.
Prasad said he expected the Reserve Bank of India to grant payment license to the proposed Post Bank of India by July.
“We expect to get the RBI nod by July. With 1,54,000 post offices, the new initiative will usher in a financial revolution across the country,” he said.
Hailing the services by the postal department, Prasad said it has done a business of Rs.500 crore in the year in e-commerce besides opening over 52 lakh accounts under the Sukanya Samriddhi Yojna receiving over Rs.1,000 in deposits.
“Whatever, be the decline in services, people still respect the Indian Railways and the postal services. I urge you all to build upon that respect and contribute towards the growth of the country,” said Prasad, urging the employees to contribute towards the government’s initiative to modernise the postal department.
Prasad also stated that the state-run BSNL was also on the road to recovery.
“Now BSNL is running into losses in excess of Rs.8,000 crore. But in 2004, it earned a profit of Rs.10,000 crore. So we decided to revive it … BSNL already has added 47 lakh new customers and its revenue has risen by 2 percent,” he said.
The minister also said there would be 100 crore mobile connections in the country in next few years.
“In a country with a population of 125 crore, we now nearly 101 crore phone connections of which 98 crore are mobile phones. In the coming few years, we will have over 100 crore mobile phone connectivity across the country,” Prasad said.
“Studies show that a country with more broadband connections has greater impact on the GDP growth.
“So we are bringing national optical fibre network connecting over 2.5 lakh gram panchayats across the country, we are bringing in broadband revolution,” he added.
Reserve Bank of India (RBI) did issue a statement saying that the supply of the new Rs 200 notes would soon be ramped up
The entire process of recalibration can be completed within 90 days without affecting the regular functionality of ATMs to a large extent
The ATM companies said that they were expecting to receive official communication on recalibration of ATMs soon
New Delhi, September 4, 2017: While the RBI launched the new Rs 200 notes a week ago, it may take up to three months for ATMs to start dispensing the new denomination currency “new Rs 200 note” as it will involve a huge exercise of recalibration.
What are ATM companies saying about when will the new Rs 200 notes come into the market?
Some banks have even asked the ATM companies to begin testing the new Rs 200 notes for recalibration of the machines, though they have not got supplies of the new Rs 200 notes/ currency. Only last year, the banks were involved in the recalibration of ATM machines after the demonetization of high-value currency notes in November.
ATM manufacturing companies said that they have not received any directive from the RBI regarding the recalibration of ATMs for the new Rs 200 note. They disclosed that some banks have at an informal level have asked them to start testing of the new note since it is of a different size.
When will the supply of the new Rs 200 notes see an increase?
Reserve Bank of India (RBI) did issue a statement saying that the supply of the new Rs 200 notes would soon be ramped up but has not given any time-frame by which it will be available in adequate numbers.
It is yet to be seen whether all the 2.25 lakh ATM machines across India would be recalibrated for dispensing the new Rs 200 notes.
avi B Goyal, Chairman, and Managing Director, AGS Transact Technologies Limited, which claims to have an installed base of 60,000 ATMs, told IANS, “The process of recalibration will begin once we receive the directive from the RBI. The size of the new Rs 200 notes are different from the existing ones and so, once we receive the new Rs 200 notes, we will have to understand its dimensions and accordingly reconfigure the ATM cassettes. Next, we will have to check if the supply of new Rs 200 notes is good enough to run the cassettes at full capacity.”
“The entire process of recalibration can be completed within 90 days without affecting the regular functionality of ATMs to a large extent. In fact, the ATMs will continue to be fully operational during recalibration and will continue to supply Rs 100, Rs 500 and Rs 2,000 denominations,” he said.
Among the other companies operating in the sector are NCR Corporation, which has over 1,08,000 machines, and BTI Payments, which has 4,500 cash dispensers. NCR Corporation said that while some banks have reached out to them to start testing of the new Rs 200 notes, they were yet to receive the supply to begin the process.
“Banks have started getting in touch with us for testing the same “new Rs 200 notes”. They will let us know which machines they wish to configure for new rs 200 notes, which will require physical visits to ATMs. However, the new Rs 200 notes are still to be provided to us by the respective banks so that the testing can begin,” Anand Garollu, General Manager (Services), NCR Corporation said.
K. Srinivas, Managing Director, and CEO of BTI Payments, a RBI-licensed firm that operates cash dispensers not owned and managed by banks, said, “Recalibration will begin as and when we receive adequate quantity of new Rs 200 notes. We are looking to roll this out as quickly as possible.”
He said that the industry was expecting new Rs 200 notes to be available over a period of time across various geographies.
“The recalibration can be done progressively as and when the new denomination note starts to become available. Unlike the last time around (during demonetization), when we had to recalibrate all machines in one go,” Srinivas added.
The ATM companies said that they were expecting to receive official communication on recalibration of ATMs soon. However, emails to RBI in this regard did not elicit any reply, they said.
“The production of these “new Rs 200 notes” is being ramped up by the currency printing presses and over time, as more notes are printed, it will be distributed across the country through the banking channels and will be available for the public in adequate quantity,” the RBI had said in a statement.
Currently, new Rs 200 notes are available only through select RBI offices and some banks.
While State Bank of India and Punjab National Bank are reported to have received the new Rs 200 notes, Eknath Baliga, Manager, KYC-Antimoney Laundering Cell, Corporation Bank, Mangalore, told IANS that none of its branches across the country had received the new Rs 200 notes so far.
The new Rs 200 notes are currently being printed only by RBI presses. Security Printing and Minting Corporation of India (SPMCIL) sources told IANS that the company has not received any indent so far for the printing of new Rs 200 notes. India’s two currency presses are owned by RBI and two by SPMCIL, which is a government-owned company.
How ATM recalibration happens:
Usually, an ATM holds four cassettes — three of which can continue to be used for Rs 100, Rs 500, Rs 2,000, and the fourth cassette can be used for the new Rs 200 notes. On an average, each cassette has a capacity to hold 2,000-2,500 notes depending upon the quality of cash issued by banks. However, there are many ATMs that only have either two or three cassettes.
The number of slots in the ATM can be configured as per the bank’s preference. The banks decide which denomination needs to be configured in a machine on the basis of the customer profile in the area where the ATM is located and the number of transactions on that machine.
The banks need to make requisite changes at their ATM switch before the rollout of the physical recalibration at the ATMs in the field.
The recalibration of a new denomination takes 30-45 minutes per ATM. The process of recalibration is not very difficult but is time-consuming given an engineer has to visit every ATM and configure it to dispense the requisite denomination.
The introduction of the Rs 200 note has been welcomed as it would ease the currency circulation in the market as people prefer lower denomination cash withdrawals from ATMs. Rs 200 would also be more convenient for rural consumers. (IANS)
This will be the first time the country sees the Rs. 200 denomination. This decision of the RBI comes as a solution to reduce the burden on Rs 100 notes and to face liquidity issues.
The note will come with a picture of the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi, and will bear the signature of RBI Governor, Dr. Urjit R. Patel.
Additionally, the Sanchi Stupa Motif is at the back side of the note. The color of the note is bright yellow. The new notes will measure 66 mm x 146 mm.
Initially, the new notes will not be available at the ATM Kiosks but can only be found at some banks and RBI offices.
When India demonetized in 2016, the response was the issue of new Rs 500 and Rs 2000 notes. Rs 100 note then follows.
People faced trouble when the Rs 2000 note had to be broken down. The issue of new Rs 200 notes seeks to solve this problem. It will also help the currency system become drastically more efficient. Smoother exchange of transactions will also be facilitated through this step.
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Kathmandu, March 26, 2017: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will allow an exchange of up to Rs 4,500 in banned Indian currency notes to each Nepali national, a visiting team of the Indian central bank in Kathmandu hinted on Sunday.
The Indian proposal has sent waves of nervousness among the Nepali public as India had earlier allowed Nepali citizens to possess up to Indian Rs 25,000 each.
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An RBI team led by Dipali Pant Joshi, executive director, RBI, held talks with a Nepali team, led by Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) Deputy Governor Chintamani Siwakoti, in Kathmandu and offered to provide exchange facilities up to INR 4,500 in banned Indian currency notes and gave one week’s window to complete the exchange formalities.
However, the Nepali side has been pushing to arrange facilities up to Indian Rs 25,000 which was earlier allowed to a Nepali citizen to hold legally.
If the Indian side remains adamant over the decision, many people who possess banned Indian rupee notes would suffer badly.
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After both sides stated their respective positions, the next meeting has been scheduled for Monday, said officials at Nepal Rastra Bank, the central bank of Nepal.
Similarly, the Nepali side has conveyed to the RBI team that it is also impossible to exchange banned Indian notes within a week as the Nepali side is yet to conduct inventory of banned Indian bills possessed by Nepalis.
In response, the RBI team said it was ready to exchange Indian notes held with Nepali banking and financial institutions immediately but currency notes held by individuals should be exchanged through the banking system.
The Indian delegation arrived in Kathmandu on Saturday to hold discussions on extending exchange facilities to Nepalis who are holding banned Indian banknotes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 denominations.
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This is the second time that the Indian team has visited Nepal to hold talks on allowing exchange facilities to Nepalis holding demonetised Indian bank notes.
Earlier, the Indian team had expressed fears about Nepal being used as a “clearing house” to channel illegally amassed banknotes into the Indian financial system.
The Indian government’s November 8 move to demonetise Rs 500 and 1,000 bank notes has caused inconvenience to many Nepalis, especially daily-wage earners and labourers working in India, and those visiting the neighbouring country for medical treatment, studies and purchasing goods from Indian markets in border areas.
Nepal’s central bank has been claiming that its financial system is holding Indian Rs 33.6 million at various banks and financial institutions besides NRB itself.
But the actual stock of banned Indian notes is expected to be much higher because Nepalis were previously allowed to carry Indian bank notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 denominations amounting to Indian Rs 25,000.
Also, those residing in areas bordering India usually keep Indian notes of higher denominations as they have to visit Indian markets frequently to buy essential commodities. (IANS)