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Towards financial inclusion: The post office of India as a financial institution, 1880–2010

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  • Chinmay Tumbe

    (Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Hyderabad)

Abstract

The Post Office of India has evolved tremendously from an institution of ‘communication’ to an important ‘financial’ institution of the early twenty-first century. This article traces the evolution of two key mass financial services offered by the Post Office over the past 130 years—money orders that have primarily served as a mechanism for internal and international migrants’ remittances and the small savings system that has mobilised deposits from millions of rural and urban citizens. It assesses the contribution of the Post Office in enhancing ‘financial inclusion’ in the twentieth century and argues that the financial history of modern India remains incomplete without integrating the Post Office—currently the largest bank in India in terms of network, accounts and personal deposits—as a key institutional actor in the narrative.

Suggested Citation

  • Chinmay Tumbe, 2015. "Towards financial inclusion: The post office of India as a financial institution, 1880–2010," The Indian Economic & Social History Review, , vol. 52(4), pages 409-437, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:indeco:v:52:y:2015:i:4:p:409-437
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