India Post, which was among the eleven applicants to have received approval from RBI for payment banks in August, will start its service by March 2017, Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said.
About 40 international financial conglomerates including World Bank, Barclays and ICICI have shown interest to partner with the Postal Department for the payment bank, the minister said.
The Department has 1,55,015 post offices across the country, of which 1,39,144 are in rural areas.
It plans to float a wholly-owned subsidiary to open payment bank.
MTNL will offer free incoming to all its users when on roaming starting next year, he said. The other state-run operator BSNL already offers free roaming for its users.
Asked about the controversial Free Basics initiative by Facebook in partnership with Reliance Communication, the Minister said he is awaiting the report of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India on the subject of net neutrality.
He was speaking at an event organised by Department of Electronic and Information Technology to celebrate good governance week, where he launched 23 products and e-services including wi-fi hotspots at Har ki Pauri in Haridwar and Dargah Sharif in Ajmer, e-payment portal, online labs for students, mobile app of digital locker and BPO promotion scheme.