The experience gained by Postal Department from distribution of medicines and essential items during coronavirus crisis has created an opportunity for it to scale up the model, Communications Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has said.
The minister urged India Post to position itself as flagbearer of an Indian supply chain through which tele-medicine, agri-products, and other items can directly be connected from producer to buyer.
The minister, who reviewed the activities and efforts of Department of Posts during COVID-19 crisis through video conferencing, said that the Dakiya should also become first resource for collecting database of migrants, their skill sets, opening of their accounts and facilitate payments under MGNREGA and other government schemes.
During the video conferencing, certain innovative models of service delivery and promoting regional specialities were shared by the Chief Postmaster Generals, an official statement said.
"Jammu and Kashmir has finalised delivery of Prasad of Mata Vaishno Devi Temple and Saffron from Kashmir across the country shortly", it added.
The statement said that the minister also spelt out the various priority areas in post-COVID situation for the Department, and emphasised that experience gained from distribution of medicines and essential items during coronavirus period has created an opportunity to scale-up the model.
He asked India Post to prepare strategic plan, incorporating suggestions from the field, to become flagbearer of an Indian Supply Chain through which tele-medicine, agri-products, handicrafts, artisan products and other local specialities can be connected from producer to ultimate buyer eliminating the middleman.
Sanjay Shamrao Dhotre, Minister of State of Communications, PK Bisoi Secretary, Posts, and other senior officers of the Department also attended the videoconferencing. All the Chief Postmaster Generals attended through review meeting from respective circle headquarters.
The efforts of India Post to ensure delivery of medicines and other essential items during the coronavirus pandemic was highlighted, the statement said adding that more than 2,000 tonnes of medicines and medical equipment were booked and delivered to needy individuals and hospitals across the country.
"Road Transport Network running more than 25,000 km daily and carrying more than 75 tonnes of mails and parcels was introduced to strengthen the supply chain.
Around Rs 1,500 crore disbursed at the door step using Aadhaar-enabled Payment System (AePS) of India Post Payment Bank to around 85 lakh beneficiaries, the statement said.
Other highlights included 75 lakh electronic money orders (EMO) payments made under various schemes of financial inclusion worth Rs 760 crore; Direct Benefit Transfers (DBT) payments worth Rs 1100 crore disbursed in beneficiary accounts; and around 6 lakh food and ration packets were distributed to labourers, municipal workers through self-contribution and in association with NGOs.
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