Post office bank proposal awaits RBI nod

Last Updated: Tue, Jul 10, 2012 18:52 hrs

The central government is awaiting the Reserve Bank of India (RBI)’s reply to the department’s proposal to float post office banks, according to Union minister of state for communication and information technology Sachin Pilot.

Speaking to reporters after inaugurating a new research and development (R&D) facility of Alcatel Lucent in Chennai on Tuesday, the minister ruled out any plans to spin off the postal life insurance business into a separate company. “The business (postal life insurance) is doing well by providing affordable policies for rural people.”

Speaking about the turnaround plans for BSNL, Pilot said, “The government is drawing up a plan. Some circles have started making profits. BSNL is looking at floating joint ventures to use its assets in an efficient way.” He, however, declined to comment further.

On the proposed IT policy, the minister said that the sector was expected to grow 17 percent next year and the target was $300 billion by 2020 from the current $100 billion.

He urged the domestic IT companies to diversify their exports rather than focusing just on the US market.

Referring to the rural connectivity plans, Pilot said, “We have written to all the states to provide right-of-way free of cost for laying optic fibre cables (OFC) worth Rs 20,000 crore, connecting several villages across the country.We are planning to connect some 250,000 villages in the country via the OFC network in two years from now.”

More from Sify: