The 'Task Force on leveraging the Post Office network' includes the Department of Posts Secretary Kavery Banerjee, Telecom Secretary Rakesh Garg, Department of Electronics and IT Secretary RS Sharma, Rural Development Secretary L C Goyal and former SEBI Chairman G N Bajpai.

Former Cabinet Secretary TSR Subramanian is the Chairman of the Task Force.

"The Task Force is working on the mandate provided to it by the government and it will submit its report by the end of the year," Banerjee told reporters on the sidelines of 2014 WSBI Postal Savings Banks Forum here.

The Terms of Reference (TOR) for the Task Force include providing an efficient postal network and points of presence (particularly in rural areas and small towns) both the government and private sector for delivering various citizen centric services, schemes, etc.

This is to further the role of Post Office in the financial inclusion, including Insurance products, to make Post Office financially viable among other objectives.

Earlier, inaugurating the annual event, Communications and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said postal banks is an "exciting" idea and Prime Minister has set up a task force to study the ways in which post office can be transformed into engines of financial inclusion.

"Post offices in India, through their network of 1.55 lakh branches, can play a big role in not only expanding the ambit of eCommerce, but can also play an important role in financial inclusion," he added.

Banerjee said that today about 63 per cent of the revenues of India Post comes from savings, insurance and remittance services, and the remaining from mail and allied services.

Besides, the number of savings accounts held in post offices in India is over 31 crore, which is more than that of any commercial bank in the country, she added.

The theme of this year's Postal Savings Banks Forum is the rising force of postal banking in retail banking market.

The meeting of the Forum, that is taking place in the national capital, will discuss the role played by various postal departments in their respective countries in retail banking.

This annual meeting brings postal financial institutions from Africa, Asia and Europe together to share experiences towards becoming efficient retail banks.

WSBI Deputy Director and Head of Institutional Relations Fiona Joyce said: "One of the high points on agenda at this forum is on how can post office help in increasing financial inclusion."

Post offices worldwide hold 1.6 billion savings and deposit accounts that is second only to commercial banks, which hold about 2.5 billion accounts, she added.

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