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State empanels India Post Payments Bank for direct benefit transfers

State empanels India Post Payments Bank for direct benefit transfers

Kolkata: The Mamata Banerjee government has recently empanelled India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) for its Direct Benefit Transfers (DBTs). Claims of all eligible beneficiaries are now being paid online to account holders of IPPB, in addition to payments through public sector banks.

"19 lakh people have already registered in Bengal for DBT through IPPB in a month. This shows the popularity of the IPPB scheme in Bengal," said Amitabh Singh, Post Master General (PMG), Kolkata.

Before opting for DBT through postal services, the state Finance department paid claims of all beneficiaries online directly to their respective accounts, through integration between e-Kuber of

RBI and the Integrated Financial Management System (IFMS) application of the department.

It was September 25 when the state government had written to the West Bengal circle of the Postal department, informing the latter that the Governor has allowed them online payment to the beneficiaries having account in IPPB, for disbursement of any type of claims to be drawn out of the state government exchequer through IFMS-e-Kuber.

The IPPB that was launched by the Department of Posts in September last year with the objective to increase rural banking and payment infrastructure, has witnessed a steep rise in the number of account holders since May this year in Bengal.

In April, the number of account holders stood at 11,233, which rose to 18,812 in May and went over 31,000 in June.

"The most important feature of IPPB is doorstep banking. People are having seamless, digital and convenient account opening at their doorstep through state-of-the-art technology. The postman is going directly at the doorstep of people for providing the facilities," a senior official in the office of PMG Kolkata said.

Cash withdrawal and cash deposit facilities are available at only Rs 25 per transaction, while digital transaction comes at Rs 15 each.

"A large chunk of customers of IPPB or other accounts in post offices are elderly citizens. It is often difficult for them to travel to post offices for deposit, withdrawal or other transactions. The IPPB has come as a boon for them," the official added.

The West Bengal Circle of the Department of Posts is now reaching even slum-dwellers through social welfare agencies and encouraging them to open IPPB accounts. "Camps have also been organised in some slums and the response has been reasonably good," the official said.

SOUMITRA NANDI

SOUMITRA NANDI

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