New Delhi: It is not the emails but the negligence on the part of the department of posts (DoP) that has led to over 70% dip in the revenue from the sale of postage stamps in the last four years, the highest in the history of independent India. And this comes at a time when the DoP is staring at a revenue loss of around R6,000 crore while its gross expenditure has virtually doubled to around R14,000 crore in the last four years.
The revenue collection from the sale of postage stamps has slumped from over R777 crore in 2007-08 to around R450-480 crore in 2010-11, sources said. Between 2007-08 and 2009-10, there was 30% dip in the revenue realised from the sale of postage stamps even as 20% jump was recorded in the revenues generated by premium services like Speed Post, Speed Post (International), Express Parcel, Corporate Money Order and Gift Services.“The postal department has been focusing on popularizing Speed Post and other premium services and has totally neglected an important business function of popularizing ordinary mails,” said a government source.
In its submissions made to a Parliamentary panel recently, the department has conceded “negligence” on the part of officials, and termed it as a case of “managerial failure”, for the sharp shortfall in the revenues realized from the sale of postage stamps. “Regarding ordinary mail, first-class mail, I agree that there has been some negligence for quite some time now. The staff were doing exactly as they wanted. Mainly, I would agree, it was a managerial failure,” a senior postal department official told the Parliamentary panel.
Now the panel has directed the DoP to concentrate on increasing its revenues using all available means, including increasing the revenues from the sale of postage stamps. “The department should focus on ordinary mail and identify areas where the revenue has been declining,” the panel said.
The department has also been told to expand its business activity by adopting aggressive marketing strategies. “It should also explore the possibility of using the land available for earning revenues,” the Parliamentary panel said. Currently, the department owns 1,871 vacant plots of land in the country of which nearly one-third are located in prime locations. The panel pulled up the DoP for having conducted no study to ascertain the market value of these plots.
There are over 1.5 lakh post offices in the country. However, there are over 4 lakh villages which still do not have a post office. The panel asked the department to open more post offices and improve the efficiency of the existing ones.(Source-Financial Express)