India Post is interested in turning itself into a universal bank like many of its peers across the world and a committee under former Cabinet Secretary TSR Subramanian is looking into the matter, a senior department official said today.
"We still want to be a full-fledged bank. The government will decide whether they want to give to us or not," chief postmaster general, Maharashtra circle, Pradipta Kumar Bisoi told reporters here.
"There is a committee under Subramanian which has been formed, they are going to give some recommendations, let's wait for the report to see whether we should go for a full-fledged bank or a payment bank," he said.
However, Bisoi added that the department, which has been accepting deposits for many decades and mobilising savings, already works like a payment bank and wondered what is the difference between the work they have already been doing and a payment bank.
"We are already doing (the work like) a payment bank, and I don't know what is the difference between what we are doing now and what is a payment bank," he stressed.
The comments come amidst increasing speculation about the department being considered for a licence under the soon-to-be introduced 'payments banks' category, rather than as a full- fledged or universal bank with a complete bouquet of offerings. RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan today said the RBI will invite applications for payment and small banks by the end of the month.
It can be noted that at the time of granting full-fledged licences to infra lender IDFC and micro-lender Bandhan in April after a 12-year hiatus, the RBI had left it to the government to decide on the aspirations of the postal department, which was also one of the over two dozen applicants.