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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Editorial - August 2007 Bhartiya Post

Operation Abolition--the Solution

The seven Blind men of Hindustan and the Elephant is not the tale to be retold only to the children. Adults in all walks of life also have many lessons to learn from this common folk story. As long as the power of vision is absent, the size and shape can only be guessed and assessed.

There is a tall claim that the Business Development in postal earns profit. When it was questioned whether the profit is derived from the revenue minus working expenditure, the reply is 'No'. Thus, the revenue has been trumpeted as the profit without subjecting the amount with working expenses, leaving entire expenses on postal operations and claiming ' Business activities' a profitable one.

The CAG report placed before the Parliament exposed the success rate of postal business and brought into light about the loss of crores of rupees owing to doing business not professionally. The existence of Automatic Mail Processing Centres installed at Chennai & Mumbai, the living symbol of white elephants is drifting away the Government money every month. When it is pleaded by the service unions for a long, it turned to the deaf ears. Now the CAG reported that the department did not succeed despite the investment of Rs. 60.25 crores in installing AMPCs at Mumbai & Chennai. The paradox in this is that the department is proposing to install further 24 AMPC centres during the eleventh plan period. No body bothers about the loss sustained to the department due to these AMPCs. In the name of business, many Circle / Administrative offices are now converted as Five Star Guest house for relaxation and rest.

The department has recently augmented 29 posts of senior and junior administrative grades to handle the business management and marketing by abolishing 47 operative senior time scale posts. Not even a single post in the operative cadres like Postal Assistant in post offices, Dealing Assistants in RO / CO has so far been created for the business & marketing whereas 29 top bureaucratic posts were now created. A swelling head with a shrinking body! An excuse and justification to increase wasteful expenditure on business!

Large funds are diverted from General expenditure to wasteful expenditure on promoting business and premium products. If the department desires to enter professional marketing activities, it requires only the MBAs & experts and not the bureaucrats in the senior administrative grade.

Take an example -- Speed Post is the premium project. As per the Annual Report of the Department of Posts for the year 2006-07 the speed post in incurring a loss of Rs. 8.46 Per article. (Average cost Rs. 44.54 : Average Revenue 36.08) Then what is the business? The worse is yet to come. The way the management is systematically diverting registration traffics to premium products or reducing the rate of speed post etc. comparing the traditional postal services is bound to reduce the traffic bound revenue in the years to come. Slashing of speed post rate to the extent of one rate one India Rs. 25/- & Rs. 12/- etc. will further increase the loss to the department. Is this the method of countering couriers?

The workload of the postal Group 'C' cadre has gone up by 200 percent within five years. The lopsided development is primarily due to the unscientific axing of posts under the Screening Committee on hand and entering various new business as the other. There is a staff cut at lower level to the extent of 19% within five years. There is a static or increase in the number of officers in the name of business activities & modernisation.

If we fails the undo the wrong decision hitherto adhered that will erode the creditability of the organisation. This will cause a dent that will be sharp and significant. Substitutes are always substitutes, but can never replace the originals. The time old proved system in functioning of the postal operations will never be recovered by the changes that are taking place in the present days.

When centralisation of power is in the agenda at lower levels why not it be implemented at higher levels first. What is the need of separate business Directorate? What is the need of separate PLI Directorate? What is the need of separate business heads at Circle level who do nothing. What is the business they secured? What is the profit they maintained minus the luxury expenses spent on seminar, meetings, compliments, TA and marketing. Why not transparency exists in all these matters?

To save the postal service, Let us propose an operation abolition. Let the axing and economy begin at the top. Abolish the Business & PLI Directorate! Abolish the Postal Board, the Chairman and Members lock stock and barrel. Let there be only one Director General for the department. The Department was functioning better and more effectively and efficiently when we had no board and the pantheon of the members. Let us enter to the old glory in serving public with the time bound delivery and keeping our old tradition of 'Service before Self.'


INDIA POST said...

Sir, i have been a regular visitor to this webpage. This article carries the view of the entire postal group c employees who are made the scapegoat for all whims and fancies of the administration and lucrative administrators.

sudarsan, pa, coimbatore hpo

kesav said...

sir, your article hits the alarming bell to the attitude of officers which the dig the department in the name of business development.

Anonymous said...

Com KVS Kudos for an eyeopening editorial. will the deaf ears of the top brass will now open? We are selling the eyes to purchase a picture. there are several other areas where the lavishness is alrming ! exposure of all these drain in revenue by our staff then and there will fetch morale among the officers atleast-nesaraj selvam