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Rural post offices will now provide e-services: Ravi Shankar Prasad

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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.

(IANS)

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Big reforms made India fastest growing major economies globally: Garg

It also has enormous implications for emerging markets and developing countries

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The RBI building in Mumbai. Photo credit: AFP/Sajjad Hussain

The major reforms undertaken by the Indian government for raising economic growth and maintaining macroeconomic stability have made the country one of the fastest growing major economies in the world, said Subhash Chandra Garg, Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs (DEA).

Garg was addressing the Special Event hosted by US-India Strategic Partnership Forum on ‘Indian Economy: Prospect and Challenges’ in Washington D.C on Friday.

Indian economy needs big reform.

He said the launch of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) represented an “historic economic and political achievement, unprecedented in Indian tax and economic reforms, which has rekindled optimism on structural reforms.” He further emphasized that India carried-out such major reforms when the global economy was slow.

“With the cyclical recovery in global growth amid supportive monetary conditions and the transient impact of the major structural reforms over, India will continue to perform robustly,” Garg said.

During his meetings, Garg highlighted that the digital age technologies have profound implications for policies concerning every aspects of the economy. It also has enormous implications for emerging markets and developing countries.

Also Read: Biggest Bank Frauds Which Shook The Indian Economy

He expressed that the response to such a transformation will have to shift from ‘catch up’ growth to adoption/adaption of digital technologies for development and growth.

Garg also informed that India has started adopting policies and programmes for transforming systems of delivery of services using digital technologies and connecting every Indian with digital technologies and access through Aadhaar and other such means.

Indian economy should be on rise. www.mapsofindia.com

While citing the example of expanding mobile data access, he mentioned that India is now the largest consumer of mobile data in the world with 11 gigabytes mobile data consumption per month. He informed that India is investing in digital technologies, encouraging private sector to adapt these technologies and also addressing the taxation related issues by introducing equalisation levy.

Garg is currently on an official tour to Washington D.C. to attend the Spring Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank and other associated meetings. He is accompanied by Urjit Patel, Governor, Reserve Bank of India and other senior officials. IANS

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