Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Senior citizens are lifeline of the department; virtual post offices or e-post offices are the future which will attract youngsters
His relationship with the post office started when he was barely 10. S. Sampath, a septuagenarian, continues to correspond through what many people call the “snail mail service” despite all odds and dissuasion from his family.
For over 60 years, Mr. Sampath has seen the service attain enviable heights of repute, success and efficiency, and then rapidly lose its traditional relevance in the face of modern technology. His son often teases him for posting cards, but nothing stops the septuagenarian from using the Department's services.
“There is no one to pass on my stamp collection in my family. I have stopped writing long letters to my relatives in the village,” said the retired teacher from Kalaivanar Colony, Anna Nagar West.
With the digital world expanding by the day, the idea of a simple hand-written letter seems to be on its way into history. The virtual extinction of hand-written letters is also impacting sale of inland letters and post cards. Individual mails have shrunk to less than 20 per cent of the Postal Department's deliveries.
Bhanurekha Sundar, a resident of Ashok Nagar, said: “When I was young, I used to post 20 to 30 greeting cards. Now, I send and receive greetings through text messages and e-mails. I miss the excitement. I realise that none of us has much time anymore for such niceties.”
Today, if you see customers walking into a post office, they are most likely to despatch something by speed post, to remit bills, send parcels or use its banking services. Launch of more parcel packaging centres and success of retail services and savings schemes, however, are signs of possible demand for its newer services.
Corporates and government departments keep its services going, but the Postal Department is clearly losing its individual customers. A postmaster who did not want to be named said: “The number of individual customers has reduced to 50 per cent compared to two decades ago. There were days when sub-post offices dealt with 10,000 individual mails daily.”
Mergers have brought down the number of post offices as well. Currently there are only around 200 post offices in Chennai and its suburbs and nearly 75 per cent of these are in rented buildings that are under threat of either being moved or closed down.
Sources in the All India Postal Employees Union said that of the 273 post offices in the city only 170 are presently functioning. Many one-man post offices had to be closed as the revenue generated was low.
Officials said the department was on the look out for rented accommodation at affordable rates for post offices. “We have been asking the Chennai Corporation for space. But they are yet to give us concrete replies. Private persons are not willing to rent buildings to us.”
Exploring new avenues
To cope with the mounting expenditure and the heavy subsidising of its primary services, the postal department is morphing into a multi-service provider. The annual growth rate varied between 10 to 15 per cent. The total monthly revenue generated by Chennai city is around Rs.6 crore of which Speed Post alone contributes Rs.2.40 crore. There are also customers who give business worth Rs.25 lakh per month.
“We are taking steps to make post offices more customer friendly by improving the quality of services in areas, including Adyar, Tambaram and T. Nagar. We have authorised 25 franchisees that do all our operations excluding banking and insurance,” said an official.
However, computerisation has not spread to all post offices. “Though a portion of the 2,500 employees in Chennai still find it difficult to adapt to technology, the department also has not been able to implement computerisation universally, which leads to delay in processing time,” admitted a postal official.
‘Sell stamp paper'
J. Srivenkatesh, State president, All India Postal Employees Union, said there was no separate cadre for system operations support. “If there is a problem in the system, nobody knows how to set it right,” he said.
Questioning the rationale behind closing post offices and offering more retail products to customers, he said that in the last two years around 60 post offices have been closed in Chennai. “We have been suggesting that post offices sell stamp paper… we sell revenue stamps anyway. It would be a profit spinning enterprise,” he said.
The Union has been campaigning for removing the system of hubs in Speed Post services as it would only lead to slowing down of deliveries.
“We ensure that 95 per cent Speed Post is delivered on time. Sometimes there is a delay due to non-availability of the person or address being unclear. Parcel services too are very popular with customers. T. Nagar and Mylapore post offices do business up to Rs.1 crore a month at times,” said Postmaster General (Chennai City Region) M.S. Ramanujan.
Shanthi Srinivasan, marketing executive, said proof of address cards, sale of gold coins and parcel services were top of the retail services. “We have good response from customers for services including sale of application forms for universities, HMT watches and solar lamps.”
The expansion of services has led to an increase in work load. A postal assistant who joined recently said: “We work for nearly 12 hours to beat the competition from courier companies. We collect bulk letters from corporate clients. We also have to canvass customers to purchase our retail products.”
Admitting that the senior citizens are the lifeline of the department, the official said virtual post offices or e-post offices are the future of the department to attract youngsters to use the services.
What they say
M.S.Ramanujan, Postmaster General, Chennai City Region
We are repositioning and re-engineering ourselves to be relevant to the changing needs of the customers. The launch of retail services and parcel packaging centres and strengthening of banking services are the recent moves to stay in touch with customers. We are focussing on relocation of post offices instead of closure. There are also plans for a massive technological upgradation in the next two years.
Elizabeth Sam, homemaker from Madipakkam
The habit of writing letters had many incentives. We had pen friends across the world, and more than the letter, we valued the stamps. Collecting stamps and knowing about them has helped me to de-stress myself throughout the 50 years that I have been collecting them. I like collecting thematic stamps, mainly on flora and fauna, and now, I collect a lot of Sri Lankan stamps. My sustained interest in stamps has not only helped me as a teacher, but also ensured that I had interesting things to do, even after retirement.
G. Kaliasundaram, Investor, post office schemeBeing a senior citizen, I find the services of the postal agents very satisfactory. Even at odd hours in the day, we can call them up and speak. We invest in the postal scheme because it is convenient for us, and we do not have to go to the office personally for every need. However, if their business is affected, it will in turn affect us.
Posted by KAYVEEYES at 4:32 PM
Friday, January 27, 2012
SB ORDER NO. 31/2011
Government of India
Ministry of Communications & IT
Department of Posts
Dak Bhawan, Sansad Marg,
New Delhi-110001, Dated: 20.01.2012
All Heads of Circles/Regions
Addl. Director General, APS, New Delhi.
Subject:- Clarification regarding default fee in RD and calculation of Post Maturity Interest.
Sir / Madam,
The undersigned is directed to refer to this office letter of even number dated 13.12.2011 (SB Order No.31/2011) and Corrigendum-I issued on 20.12.2011 and Corrigendum-II issued on 02.01.2012 on the subject. This office is still receiving phone calls regarding charging of default fee in RD from 1.1.2012 under modified rules and calculation of PMI. Following further clarifications are issued on the subject:-
In case of RD
Since the rule of default fee and the software have not been amended, no default fee is to be charged if the above rule is not followed till the rule and software is amended. Default fee provision will remain the same. This rules has been got modified to avoid rush of RD work in the last week of a month. Amendment in the rule for charging default fee shall be taken up with Min. of Finance once the work of putting stamps on all the RD Passbooks is completed and depositors become familiar about the change.
In case of PMI
It is further clarified that PMI is to be calculated for the complete month from the date of maturity and remaining part of the month is to be ignored. Revised example is given below:-
if an account was matured on 26.8.2009 and the depositor attends the post office on 30.01.2012, he/she will be paid PMI at the rate 3.5% from 26.08.2009 to 25.12.2011 (28 complete months) and at the rate 4% from 26.12.2011 to 25.01.2012 (one complete month). Period from 26.1.2012 to 30.1.2012 (being part of month) will be ignored.
(Kawal Jit Singh)
Assistant Director (SB)The issue was seriously discussed during the talks held on 10.1.2012 while pointing out the irregular orders released without making necessary corrections in the softwares.
Posted by KAYVEEYES at 6:57 PM
Posted by KAYVEEYES at 6:48 PM
Posted by KAYVEEYES at 6:38 PM
International Women Day
Observe 8th March befittingly
The Women Sub-Committee of the Confederation of CG Employees and Workers calls upon the entirety of leadership of all Affiliated Organizations to launch effective Programmes like Seminars, Conventions, Special Meetings of Women Workers all over the country on behalf of their respective organisations to befittingly celebrate the “INTERNATIONAL WOMEN DAY”. This is an occasion to approach all women members to unionize them in our unions and educate them as well all other menfolk about the rights and privileges of women employees as well as their special problems encountered at the work spots and in society. Please send your reports to the headquarters of Confederation after observing them effectively.
Com. Gita Ghoshal - Chairperson & Com. C P Shobana - Convenor Women Sub Committee, Confederation of CG Employees and Workers
Posted by KAYVEEYES at 6:34 PM
CHARTER OF DEMANDS.
1) Concrete measures to contain price rise
2) Concrete measures for linkage of employment protection with the concession/incentive package offered to the entrepreneurs,
3) Strict enforcement of all basic labour laws without any exception or exemption and stringent punitive measures for violation of labour laws.
4) Universal social security cover for the unorganized sector workers without any restriction
5) Creation of a National Social Security Fund with adequate resources in line with the recommendation, of NCEUS and Parliamentary Standing Committees on Labour, Stoppage of disinvestment in Central and State PSUs, the Central Trade Unions also demand immediate action by the Govt. of India to en sure:-
6) No Contractorisatlon of work of permanent/perennial nature and payment of wages and benefits to the contract workers at the same rate as available to the regular workers of the Industry/establishment
7) Amendment of Minimum Wages Act to ensure universal coverage irrespective of the schedules and fixation of statutory minimum wage at not less than Rs 10,000/-,
8) Remove the ceilings on payment and eligibility of Bonus, Provident Fund; Increase the quantum of gratuity.
9) Scrap PFRDA Bill/New Pension Scheme; Ensure pension for all.
10) Compulsory registration of trade unions within a period of 45 days and immediate ratification of ILO conventions 67 and 96.
1. Stop downsizing, outsourcing, contractorisation, coporatorisation and privatization of Governmental functions
2. Fill up all vacant posts and create posts on functional requirements
3. Revise wages of CGEs with effect from 1.1.2011 and every five years thereafter.
4. Regularize the GDS, daily rated workers, contingent and casual workers by brining about a definite scheme of regularization.
5. Remove restriction imposed on compassionate appointment ( end the discrimination on compassionate appointment between the Railway workers and other CGEs)
6. Stop the move to introduce the productivity linked wage system; Performance related pay; introduce PLB to in all Departments; remove the ceiling of emoluments for bonus computation.
7. Settle all items of anomalies (including the MACP related anomalies) raised in the National and Departmental Anomaly committees within a fixed time frame of two months; set up the anomaly committees in those Departments where it has not been set up till date with the Standing Committee members of the National Council; convene the meeting of the Departmental Council in all Ministries/Department once in three month as envisaged in the JCM Scheme
8. Make the right to strike a legal right and stop curtailment of T.U. rights
9. Implement all arbitration awards
10.Raise the interest rate for GPF. Revise the OTA and Night duty allowance and stitching and clothing rates of uniforms
11.Merge DA with Pay for all purposes including pension as and when the DA rates croses the 50% mark.
12.Vacate all Trade Union victimizations.
Posted by KAYVEEYES at 6:28 PM
POSTAL JOINT COUNCIL OF ACTION
NATIONAL FEDERATION OF POSTAL EMPLOYEES
FEDERATION OF NATIONAL POSTAL ORGANIZATIONS
ALL INDIA POSTAL EXTRA DEPARTMENTAL EMPLOYEES UNION
NATIONAL UNION OF GRAMIN DAK SEVAKS
No. ATG/JCA/2012 Dated : 25th Jan 2012
Dear Comrades and Colleagues,
All Central Trade Unions e.g. INTUC,BMS,AITUC,CITU, HMS,AIUTUC,UTUC,LPF, SEWA and All Federations and Organizations of Central & State Government Employees Teachers, and Employees of Central & State Public Sector undertakings have decided to organize one day All India Strike on 28th February-2012. The Postal JCA has decided to join the working class in its fight against anti-people & anti-working class policies of the Government. The tour programme of All India leaders is enclosed herewith for intensive campaign meetings at various stations. The Circle Secretaries and All India Office Bearers of the respective Circles will make arrangements to organize the meeting. General Membership of all unions should participate in the meeting.
Strike notice will be served to Secretary, Department of Posts on 10.02.2012 by JCA leaders. Lunch hour demonstration should be organized in front of all working places.
The Postal JCA Call upon the entirety of Postal , RMS and GDS employees to make the one day All India Strike 0n 28th February, 2012 a grand success.
TOUR PROGRAMME OF ALL INDIA LEADERS
Place & Date
Name of the Leaders (Coms.)
R. Seetha Lakshmi(NFPE),G.Shankar Goud (FNPO),P. Panduranga Rao (GDS)
T.N. Rahate (FNPO), S.P. Mukherjee (NFPE),
Dheeraj Kumar Chaliha (GDS)
D. Theagarajan (FNPO),R N Parashar (NFPE)
Subhash Prasad Sahu (GDS)
Satayanarayana (NFPE),I N Yadav (FNPO)
Narayan Chaudhary (GDS)
Giri Raj Singh (NFPE),O P Khanna (FNPO)
Rambir Singh (GDS)
P Suresh (NFPE,C P Nayi (FNPO)
B M Jadeja (GDS)
K.K. Sharma (NFPE),D Kishan Rao (FNPO)
Vijay Sharma (GDS)
T N Rahate (FNPO),Raj Kumar (NFPE)
Datta Ram (GDS)
Jammu & Kashmir
D.S. Chauhan (NFPE),O P Khanna (FNPO)
Yog Raj Sharma (GDS)
P. Suresh (NFPE),Gulam Mohd. Robahi(FNPO)
Madan Mohan Singh (GDS)
S. Raghupathy (NFPE),D. Kishan Rao (FNPO)
B. V. Rao (GDS)
M. Krishnan (NFPE),P.U. Murlidharan (GDS)
I.S. Dabas(NFPE),Ashok Sharma (FNPO)
Mahendra Pratap Singh(GDS)
D.K. Rahate (NFPE,B.S. Kahasahade(FNPO)
D.N. Giri (GDS)
D. Theagarajan (FNPO),K.V. Sridharan (NFPE)
Nirmal Singh (GDS)
Giri Raj Singh (NFPE),Dharm Singh (FNPO)
Lakhvinder Pal Singh(GDS)
I.S. Dabas (NFPE),Ashok Sharma (FNPO)
Rajender Diwakar (GDS)
D. Theagarajan (FNPO),K.V. Sridharan (NFPE)
M. Rajangam (GDS)
R.N. Parashar (NFPE),A.H. Siddique (FNPO)
Promod Kumar Singh (GDS)
T.N. Rahate (FNPO),Balwinder Singh (NFPE)
Chandrabhan Mehra (GDS)
D. Theagarajan (FNPO),Pranab Bhattacharjee (NFPE),Bejoy Gopal Sur (GDS)
Posted by KAYVEEYES at 6:23 PM