for setting up postal banks.
"We are going to start a new scheme of postal banking. In my priorities, I have selected postal bank also...Earlier postal department had applied for licence before RBI which is on hold as of now" he said.
Prasad sounded bullish about boosting indigenous electronics manufacturing to curtail dependence on imports.
"Electronic manufacturing is going to be the key area of my priority...It is very much employment-based sector. We can give employment to 2.8 crore people," the minister said.
By 2020, the Indian electronic market is projected to reach USD 400 billion. Of this, USD 300 billion of products may be imported in the absence of a boost to local production.
Prasad said the government will push for setting up chip manufacturing facilities in the country and incentivise companies if they set-up production plants in identified cities including Ghaziabad, Vadodara, Ahmedabad, Gandhinagar, Nagpur, Nasik, Aurangabad and Thane.
In February, the government approved setting up two electronic chip-making plants entailing an investment of about Rs 63,412 crore.
The government has notified 50 brownfield electronics manufacturing clusters (EMCs) and has approved in-principle seven greenfield EMCs across 13 states and a Union territory.
The brownfield EMCs are also eligible for benefits of the modified special incentive package scheme (M-SIPS), under which the government will provide incentives up to Rs 10,000 crore during the 12th Five-Year Plan period (2012-17).
The scheme will provide subsidy for capital expenditure with a limit of 20 per cent for investments in Special Economic Zones and 25 per cent in non-SEZs.
The minister said he has received representations from Samsung, Nokia and industry bodies on electronics manufacturing.
Prasad said he will promote setting up an Electronic Development Fund to address financial issues of the sector. Part of the contribution to this fund will be made by the government and the rest will be from venture capitalists.
Talking about the performance of public sector telecom firms BSNL and MTNL, the minister said he will directly monitor the performance of their network.
"I have decided that an NOC (network operating centre) will be set up in my chamber in which number of BSNL-MTNL towers working or not working will appear on a screen before me," he said.
The minister said the government has in-principle approved implementation of mobile number portability nationwide and is awaiting the recommendations of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India for further action.