CSC services via India Post on slow lane

CSC services via India Post on slow lane


A government plan that encourages post offices to provide services done exclusively by Common Services Centers, CSCs) has yet to pick up pace due to a lack of incentives and infrastructure for postal workers sources said.

The partnership between India Post, which functions under the Department of Posts of the Ministry of Communications, and the CSCs, a special purpose vehicle of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), was established earlier this year.

As part of the initiative, CSCs provided special login access to all 143,000 post offices and their postal workers, enabling them to provide services such as updating Aadhaar card details, filling forms for passport and permanent account number (PAN) cards, and selling or buying products through the CSC’s e-Grameen portal, sources said.

“For example, every VLE (village level entrepreneur) gets Rs 100 from the Passport Seva Program division of the Ministry of External Affairs for every form that they help in filling in rural areas. Similarly, with banks, the commission ranges from Rs 200-Rs 600 for a variety of services provided. With the login id, even postal officers will be able to do that,” a government official said.

Overall, the CSCs have trained postal workers at 25,000 large post offices and 118,000 small ones to provide these services.

The plan has, however, has not yet gathered steam due to a lack of incentives for postal workers, the sources added.

“A VLE is self-motivated and has the incentive to enroll more people in certain schemes or provide them better services. Post offices and postal officers have no incentive since they are already working on salaries. Most of them do not work during weekends and are not available for users after 5 pm,” an official said.

CSCs provide services such as filling in forms for government services such as a passport as well as generating and updating Aadhaar, PAN, and other government identity cards.

It also provides minor banking services such as checking of balance, the deposit of money, withdrawal of money, and generation of leads for bank loans for public and private sector banks through its network of banking correspondents.

Other than these, CSCs also work on the maintenance and repair of internet cables laid out as a part of the BharatNet broadband connectivity scheme in various villages.

“So, effectively, all the post offices are now also functioning as CSCs. But unlike the VLEs, postal workers do minimal work as collecting bills for various services such as telephone and electricity or collecting premiums for some life insurance or insurance taken by users in rural areas. These kinds of services do not fetch good commission,” one of the sources said.



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