Categories
Thoughts

Postal Department: Control Regime

1) Why on earth there should be a monopoly for postal department?
Are we living in China or USA where each and every phone, letter, email is scanned. Do I have any privacy, any freedom???

Today government says no package less than 300gm should be send by private courier.
Tomorrow it will say all emails need to be send via government networks?
All phone calls via BSNL?

Do you know next time a peon/office boy moves a sheet of paper from my cubicle to my boss’s is breaking a law?

2) What is the benefit of fixing the price???? What sense does it make that private operators need to charge 2.5 times the charge???? Whom does it help?
Why is the government stopping a guy to provide me a better service at lower cost?

Why can’t government come up with a TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) or a private Bank like arrangement where any private operator has a social obligation for an all inclusive growth… If the pvt guy is not interested, he needs to pay to the guys who do it on his behalf (read government) You levy a license fee, a tax based on turnover/revenue…. levy whatever you want as long as things are transparent and fair.

Department of posts (DoP), no matter how primitive, has done a great social service… It has connected the remotest part of the country with the rest of the world, it has given banking service to people whom not even Public Banks can cater, it enabled men to send money to their family settled back in villages.
But thanks to technology there are faster means of connectivity… People no longer use Telegram. they prefer emails, fax and telephone over posts…
But this bill helps nobody… infact you are regularizing inefficiency.

11 replies on “Postal Department: Control Regime”

do they not understand why people prefer courier even if postal dept. is cheaper.
Posts are used in necessary situations, and if postal dept keep losing them than i m not going to use there service ever. Make them work in a better way, look at the way they are managed. Now being in US i can compare the postal service here and there. Here the post offices are better than courier service. This is a competitive world and if you cannot compete than you have no right to be in market.

@arora
exactly
All the growth in the service sector can be attributed to liberalization and competition…
but looks like the government is trying to take us back to the stone age.

This is what happens when you have too many economists running the country. May be what we need is a ten year old kid who has more sense of the business and the market world. He might perfrom much better.

I would like to respond to Mr. Amit Arora’s comment in the following way.

Please find a BANIA who can offer universal postal services in India with model wage rates. I will help him get the contract.

I would at the same time request those who post in the forum to make an in-depth study of Postal Services in India before posting their comments.

Indiapost cannot be compared with USPS because of the grossly different social, economic, demographic and geographical conditions in India. India still lives in villages and hamlets some of which so remote that none of the advocates of free trade would venture to go.

Providing postal services in India cannot be equated with selling finished goods in a Mall. None of the present day couriers has seen a village. Providing wireless telephony in villages by pvt. companies and giving doorstep personalized services are a far cry from each other.

@bis..
//Please find a BANIA who can offer universal postal services in India with model wage rates//
Well the problem is that there are 100s of them… They are much more efficient and give far prompter service with much less employees… as a result they are driving indian post out of service.
Simple questions…
Why this bill if no private operator can match Government services?
Why government has fixed the Min Charge, unless they are able to charge less?

// None of the present day couriers has seen a village.//
Does this bill help/force/give incentive the private operators in operating in villages?..
If the answer is no… then the bill is bringing us back to the stone age.
In fact it will kill the competition, is a cartel system by the government to fleece the common man.

The social obligation mandated by TRAI and RBI helps and has resulted in telecoms and banks expansion into these areas…. and I am all for these regulations… but dude this bill is an discriminatory.

Thanx bis for showing me the other side 🙂

Now my side …
– I am talking of giving this infrastructure to bania and then see the effect.
– About researching before posting, I did my own homework and compared only after i saw the usps side. anyways the comparison was not intended to show the infrastructure difference. The main difference lies in keeping your customers and improving your image. Thats where a bania comes into picture.

I agree that postal services has lead a revolution in villages. But you cant eat into respect you got from that.
The incidences of losing posts, delaying for long times, and bad customer support, are the reason people try to avoid post.

FYI, I personally know some courier services which cater to villages having one bus a day connectivity to rest of the world. But if the courier guy looses my post then i would surely avoid that also.

In this industry, Its all about your reputation. I would inquire twice before using any, so if tomorrow postal dept comes up with better promises and backs it with good service than I would go for that against anything else.

But till then no law can force me to go to the post-office.

//But till then no law can force me to go to the post-office.//

dude u live in control raj… and the problem is that unlike Americans or Chinese… most people do not know that Indian government controls each and every aspect of their life.

in 1982 when my family fist booked for a landline connection, I was asked to wait for 7 years..

Yesterday I called Airtel at 7pm to complain about my phone not working…. their engineers battled rains and repaired my phone by 9pm. Then he again came in the morning to relay the entire wiring…. do you think without competition this could have ever happened?

I appreciate the views expressed above.

The following facts will make the public in general understand and appreciate postal services in India better in the context of the furore over its declining efficiency and lack of profitability.

Postal services worldwide started off as a sovereign function to provide the much-needed communication services to the Government and the public in general. Of late only the debate over its being commercially managed started taking place.

Even today the postal mails are thoroughly watched and sometimes intercepted by the intelligence agencies which the public is generally not aware.

India has a network of 1,56,000 post offices more than 80% of which are located in villages.

It is a Govt. policy and a UN (UPU) mandate to provide universal postal services within easy reach.

The max. distance between two post offices in rural areas should not exceed 3 Kms. A post office will be opened and continued in a village as long as it meets 15% of its expenses. Even when it falls below that a post office can’t be closed. Those few who dare to close soon beat a hasty retreat. It’s almost axiomatic that once a postoffice is opened, it can’t be closed.
All this a matter of State policy.

Postal Department pays model wages to all its employees and no shade of employee exploitation exists in Postal Department.

Even the lowest of the employees can knock the doors of the President of India even when fired on just grounds.

Yet, the Postal Department is the strictest employer among all Govt. Departments/organisations and dishes out the strictest punishments for indiscipline, laxity. Sometimes, this sparks off debates in Parliament.

Department of Posts, India is the largest deliverer of domestic mail in India and this is one among the many functions it carries out.

Till recently, Post Office Savings Bank was the largest mobilizer of savings- small and big. The deposit base was larger than SBI’s. Today, it stands at around 3,50,000 crores. All this money is used for developmental purposes by the Central and State Govts.

Postal Life Insurance which provides insurance cover to Govt., semi-Govt and cooperative sector employees has grown phenomenally and has an investible surplus of over 36000 crores.

Rural Postal Life Insurance is a concessional life insurance scheme available only to rural masses.

All these financial services are provided by the Postal Department on cost or cost minus basis and the surplus forms a part of Consolidated Fund of India which is used for general good.

Provides pension services to retired employees of Telecom(BSNL), Railways,EPFO, Coal mines etc.
Postal Department provides full scale postal,financial and insurance services to the defence forces even at the remotest frontiers through its APS Corps.

The Department runs international and domestic money transfer services.

Runs a country-wide e-post(email for computer havenots) services.

Runs a string of public-public and public-private tie-ups to garner additional revenue.

On the other hand, a private courier focusses on mail items that too on profitable routes.

Some of the small couriers are even caught clandestinely using the postal services for transmission of their mails when they find it unremunerative to establish their own channel.

Postal Department treats urban, rural ,rich, poor alike.

Couriers are more hyped than real which is characteristic of a neoliberal society like India. There are umpteen instances of delayed delivery, wrong delivery and nondelivery by couriers. Yesterday, I received an invitatation card through a courier after long 12 days for a distance of 1000 Kms after the ceremony was over. The card was dropped at a neighbour’s place who was kind to hand it over to me. The delivery was obviously not acknowledged.

Postal services in India, no doubt, has fallen by its own standards, say of seventies and eighties.

This is partly because of all-round degeneration in work standards in Govt. Departments and partly because of the Government’s ambivalence in setting a clear charter for the Department of Posts.

The entry of unregulated couriers has also done its bit by its selective operation and resultant squeeze in Department’s revenues.

Very few perhaps know that as of now private courier services in India are illegal.

Neither are they penalized nor are their services legalized.

This is something which should have been sorted out long back.

This is a political issue beyond the purview of bureaucracy. The bureaucratic initiative has, however,always been there.

In spite of its thick oprations and heavy odds,the Department of Posts incurs a revenue deficit of only about Rs. 1000 crores which is only the the cost of a few Bofors guns purchased for the Armed Forces. Nobody talks of profit/loss when it comes to defence forces.

The Department of Posts is a great unifier. A small post office or a postal employee in remotest parts of N.E and Kashmir is the only outpost that proclaims the sovereignty of India.

Postoffice is a great stickler of rules and the operations are unfailingly uniform which reinforces the unity theme.

Post office has a great role in military and intelligence gathering whether during war or peace. Some postoffices act as camouflaged units for border intelligence.
If the Government, better late than never, is trying to consolidate and strengthen the post office through some regulation on detractors let’s all support it.

The contribution of Post office in the past as also in the present cannot be judged in monetary terms.

It’s a flag bearer of India’s sovereignty.

It also delivers mails.

Thanks.

thanks praveen…
you listed out a lot of facts which even I was not aware of esp. the fact that a village bears 15% of the postal expense.
it was a wonderful post… and I have huge respect for the work Indian Post has done in unifying the nation.

//Couriers are more hyped than real which is characteristic of a neoliberal society like India. There are umpteen instances of delayed delivery, wrong delivery and nondelivery by couriers.//
its a problem faced by both courier and postal department.. and only competition will improve their services…. not monopoly.

//Postal services in India, no doubt, has fallen by its own standards, say of seventies and eighties.//
that is why i am saying ending competition would be a terrible move. BSNL services improved drastically after Bharti and other operators took away some of its clients… but ultimately profitability and number of subscribers grow..

//Very few perhaps know that as of now private courier services in India are illegal.//
i could find no reason why this ban should be there. do u know?

//The entry of unregulated couriers has also done its bit by its selective operation and resultant squeeze in Department’s revenues.//
then the best thing would be regularize them and force them to open branches in rural areas or pay for the Indian Posts operations there. would u think that would be a more sane approach (already used successfully in banking and telecom sector)

Leave a Reply to bis Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *