India Post
India Post plans to set up 650 payments bank by September 2017. Pictured: An India Post mail truck in Mumbai [Representational Image]

Union Communications and Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Saturday said India Post had the potential to become the world's leading e-commerce delivery platform. Prasad said this during the inauguration ceremony of an e-commerce parcel processing centre in Parel, Mumbai.

India Post has tied up with e-commerce firms such as Amazon, Snapdeal and Flipkart to provide same-day delivery orders. According to the IT Minister, India Post Payment Bank would be set up by 2017 to provide "formal banking facilities" to rural India, The Hindu said.

The company is hoping to revise its profile as an efficient logistics and financial services provider.

India Post posted revenue worth Rs 11,636 crore during 2014-15, the report added.

Several multinational financial firms such as ICICI bank, Citigroup and Barclays have sought to partner with India Post, Press Trust of India reported.

"You have only got the in-principle approval, and other aspects like appointing a consultant are on, but already 40 big financial services groups from the country and abroad have evinced interest in a tie-up with the Postal Department," Prasad said while addressing postal employees in Mumbai on Saturday.

According to reports, the Parel delivery facility is spread over 12,000 sq ft area. It is mechanised and uses conveyor belts, electronic weighing scales. The centre currently processes 7,000 e-commerce parcels per day.

In an attempt to ensure parcels are delivered on Sundays and during holidays, India Post is equipping post offices with a mechanised nodal delivery system.

"The department has done cash-on-delivery based deliveries to the tune of Rs 1,000 crore in 2015," Prasad said. The e-commerce market is valued at Rs 98,000 crore and is expected to grow further in the near future, Press Trust of India added.