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Post offices to help banks disburse rural credit

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WORLD POST DAY: Meera Datta, Chief Postmaster-General, Karnataka Circle, releasing the Special Cover to mark the 20th anniversary of SpeedPost services, in the company of Devaki Muthukrishnan, RBI Regional Director, and Sita Bhateja, philatelist, in Bangalore on Monday. Photo: K. Gopinathan
WORLD POST DAY: Meera Datta, Chief Postmaster-General, Karnataka Circle, releasing the Special Cover to mark the 20th anniversary of SpeedPost services, in the company of Devaki Muthukrishnan, RBI Regional Director, and Sita Bhateja, philatelist, in Bangalore on Monday. Photo: K. Gopinathan

Special Correspondent

World Post Day celebrated

Bangalore: Post offices may soon have a role in the disbursal of rural credit extended by banks, Reserve Bank of India Regional Director Devaki Muthukrishnan said here on Monday.

Speaking at the World Post Day celebrations, she said the Electronic Clearing Service (ECS) being launched for the monthly income scheme of post-office savings bank accounts was a good move. People, especially senior citizens, need not go to post offices to draw the monthly interest but could get it credited into their bank accounts.

At the post-office savings bank-level, it would reduce the work burden on staff, speed up the reconciliation of accounts and enable more number of savings accounts to be attended to. "While the facility is now being introduced in post offices in Bangalore, it can be extended to other parts of Karnataka," Ms. Muthukrishnan said.

The Chief Postmaster-General, Karnataka Postal Circle, Meera Dutta, said the day also marked 20 years year of the SpeedPost service. "This is our answer to private courier services, and in 2005-06 we dealt with 65 lakh SpeedPost articles and earned revenue of Rs. 25 crore from this service alone."

Postal services had their own value, especially in rural areas. The 50 paise postcard could not be matched by any private player. "Email and SMS may have overtaken most communications, but letters are still being delivered to the most remote places in the country as we did 150 years ago," she said.

World Post Day also saw other related initiatives being introduced. There is to be a tie-up with HDFC Bank by which post office customers can take loans against National Saving Certificates.

The General Post Office here will also have a Gandhi Retrospective philatelic exhibitions of rare stamps featuring the Mahatma.

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