Guv seeks people’s support for Panchayat, ULB elections

Launches India Postal Payments Bank in J&K

SRINAGAR: Panchayat and local bodies polls are for the empowerment of the people of the state who should help in the smooth conduct of the exercise, Governor Satya Pal Malik said here Saturday.

Speaking to reporters on the sideline of a function on the launch of the country’s new banking behemoth, India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) at SKICC, Governor said, “Best arrangements will be put in place for the polls and people should help us. I want to tell the people that these (elections) is for them, they will empower them and it is for them and not us, Asked if the atmosphere was conducive for the polls, he said that “everything depends upon the people”.

When people decide, the atmosphere will be good. We will make excellent arrangements, whatever we can do, we will, he said.

Elections to municipal bodies will be conducted in four phases with polling between October 1 and October 5. Elections to panchayats will be conducted in eight phases with polling between November 8 and December 4.

Earlier in the day, Malik launched the IPPB facility for Jammu and Kashmir as a part of nation-wide launch of county’s new banking behemoth, at an impressive function organized by the J&K Postal Circle at SKICC here this evening.

Addressing the function, the Governor said that the launch of postal banking network was another achievement in the rich history of Indian Postal services.

Despite introduction of internet and other technologies, the relevance of post offices is still intact and it continues to be a major source of communication in the rural and far-flung areas. I hope the initiative will give a further boost to economic activities in the rural areas where banking services are still not available, he said.

Malik said it is the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to provide banking access to everyone, especially the marginal sections of the society to ensure that they get benefits of various flagship programmes launched for their welfare.

The launch of the Postal Banking service will prove instrumental in this direction. The rural economy will grow further and people in the rural areas will connect with this network and avail benefits of various government schemes, he said.

The Governor informed that in Jammu and Kashmir, there will be eight branches of India Post Payment Bank located at Jammu, Kathua, Udhampur, Rajouri, Srinagar, Anantnag, Baramulla and Leh and all these branches will start functioning immediately.

He said all 1.55 lakh post offices across the country will be linked to India Post Payments Bank by December 31.

Dr Farooq Abdullah while welcoming the launch of this ambitious programme said that the initiative will give fillip to the rural economic activities and help in implementing welfare schemes at the grass root level. He said post offices are the basic institutions connected with the common man and adding financial services is a step-in right direction which will directly help the rural population and meet their requirements.

He said the post offices are still rendering valuable services across the country and even more relevant in the rural areas. He appreciated the Government of India for further strengthening these ground level financial institutions.

The Post Master General, J-K, briefed about the features of IPPB, saying it will cover services like paperless banking with “most secure Aadhaar enabled transactions and doorstep banking”.

The services like transferring of subsidies, scholarships, pension etc which will directly go into accounts are also available, he said, adding the main objective of the scheme is to bring all people in the ambit of banking channel.

A special cover on ‘Financial Inclusion’ was released on the occasion by the Governor along with former chief minister Farooq Abdullah.

In winter capital Jammu, the IPPB was launched by Union Minister Jitendra Singh at Zorawar Singh Stadium. He said that the facility is an unprecedented step of the union government to empower the rural masses in the far-flung areas of the country and would ensure that the benefits of development reach the people of the entire nation at the grass root level.

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