CORPORATE PLAN OF DEPARTMENT OF POSTS
CORPORATE PLAN OF DEPARTMENT OF POSTS EXHIBITED IN THE DEPARTMENT WEBSITE
Department of Posts has announced a Corporate Plan in its website. It is stated that this Corporate Plan is due to Major Change in Postal Policy. The major change in policy is attaining self sufficiency within the next five years as the Government of India may not find it feasible to subsidize the postal operations any more.
The Corporate Plan declares some goals. These Goals are:
1. Post within easy reach of all by year 2013-14.
2. To be a focal point for delivery of all social security schemes of the State
by the year 2011-12.
3. To be a self-sustaining organization by the year 2013-14.
4. To increase financial inclusion of the unbanked population by at least 10%
by the year 2013-14.
The declared Goals are good. They try to concentrate on core postal functions and POSB. But these goals are expected to be arrived at by depending on mainly the Franchisee outlets and not on recruitment of staff or opening of new post offices. The Corporate Plan clearly states " The objective of providing basic postal facilities within easy reach (defined as within 1.5 km) cannot be achieved by opening more post offices. The objective of opening of post offices would be expensive and would go against the other objective of financial self-sufficiency. Accordingly, the strategy would be more on giving out franchisees to individuals, shops, institutions, etc. This would reduce the cost of achieving this objective, besides bringing in additional revenue to the Department."
No proper study of Franchisee system has been made and no opportunity was given to the staff side to look into the franchisee working scheme with transparency so far. The stand of the NFPE on this issue had been amply communicated to the Department. Despite our insistence no purposeful meeting is being arranged by the Department for mutual discussion nor the blue print of full operations of all the franchisees have been supplied to us. Now blindly the Department want to go ahead with more and more expansion of Franchisee schemes by offering to shops, institutions etc in addition to the individuals. They are the masters and we are the slaves and slaves require no convincing.
The Department had estimated that the value of USO [Universal Service Obligation] compensation was Rs.668 crores for 2004-05. The Document says that the funding of USO could be from: (i) Government funding--- the government is responsible for funding any deficit incurred in operation of universal postal services;(ii) Industry funding-- in this model, other postal players pay a fee for the operation of universal postal services by the public postal operator;(iii) Reserved price area-- a specific area of service reserved for the universal service provider so that revenues from reserved area help in 11 financing the universal postal services. The reserved service area must be clearly defined on the basis of three elements: (a) class of service (b) item weight (c) price protection for reserved services. These are issues which need to be given a legal basis by having them incorporated in the Indian Post Office Act.
But the big question is as to whether the Government has got the will to legal protection of letter mail monopoly etc by suitable amending the PO Act which it could not do on the face of stiff opposition from the corporate courier lobby. Three times such legislation was attempted in vain. Protection of letter mail monopoly; protection upto 500 grams for letters; protection of letters up to 300 grams all got diluted upto 150 grams but that too not could not be legislated.
A growth trajectory has been aimed at. It is also said that to achieve the projected growth it would require: (a) improving the quality of service by streamlining operations, and (b) working with stakeholders to increase the mail flow through the India Post system. We have no issue with improving the quality of service to customers but the interpretation of quality service differs between the staff side and the official side. The method adopted to improve the delivery efficiency in Project Arrow Offices by reducing the number of deliveries or reducing the number of postmen by the Administrative Officers at different levels are certainly at a different wavelength in contrast to our own wavelength of quality service to public. Quality service by not providing sufficient hands means quality service by magic in their interpretation. There is no meeting ground and there is no sincere attempt to reach a meeting ground. They perhaps think that they alone are ordained by nature to think and create and the workers are ordained to carry out without murmur anything and everything. Project Arrow bears full stamp of this approach. We do not know as to whether the Corporate Plan is going to be different at all!
The Corporate Plan spells out that the Rural Postal Life Insurance (RPLI) which was started in 1995, may be further strengthened, if need be, by setting up a company. This means corporatisation / privatisation of PLI/RPLI functions.
The entire Corporate Plan of the Department of Posts is available by clicking the following LINK. All our rank and file comrades are requested to go through the whole Corporate plan and send their considered view points in writing preferably by E-mail to email@example.com
Secretary General NFPE