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The Department of Post (DoP) could set up 550 ATMs till February this year against the targeted 1,000 by March even as the government aims for massive nationwide roll out of cash vending machines in the next three years.
In his budget speech, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the government will undertake a massive nationwide roll-out of ATMs and micro ATMs in Post Offices over the next three years to provide better access to financial services specially in rural areas.
Besides, the DoP also plans to bring all 25,000 departmental post offices under the core banking platform.
But according to the official data, the DoP has "installed 550 ATMs" as of February 24 out of "target of 1,000 ATMs (by March this year) in various parts of the country".
The core banking system will enable customers to operate their accounts, and avail banking services from any post office on its network, regardless of where they maintain their account
Apart from these departmental post offices, the DoP has 1,30,000 rural post offices across the country.
As of December 2015, banks in India have over 1.93 lakh ATMs across the country. Of this, 33,249 ATMs are in rural centres and 51,925 in semi-urban areas, as per the data.
To expand reach of ATMs in tier-III centres, where population range from 20,000 to 49,999 and at tier-VI centres, meaning population less than 5,000, Reserve Bank has also allowed non-bank entities to set-up, own and operate ATMs also known an White Label ATMs (WLAs).
India currently have a total of 11,706 WLAs, as per data available till December 2015.