Dept. of Posts to launch international money order facility

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Kochi, Apr 8 (UNI) In a bid to achieve its business target of Rs 3,000 crore through sale of premium products during 2008-09, the Department of Posts (DoP) is set to launch an instant international money order facility later this month, DoP Secretary I M G Khan said today.

Addressing a press conference at the conclusion of the two-day annual business meet of his department here, he said to begin with, the electronic money order facility would cover inward remittances from the UAE at 97 head post offices in Kerala and the four metropolitan cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai. In Kerala, a total of 51 head post offices would be covered.

''We have already signed an MoU with the UAE and the necessary systems have been installed in both countries. We are hopeful of starting the service by the third week of this month,'' Mr Khan said.

The international money order facility was being launched under the auspices of the Universal Postal Union's (UPU) secure 'International Financial System', with the central server located at Berne in Switzerland.

Mr Khan said the UPU, an UN organisation, was keen on India joining the system as the country was the largest recipient of remittances in the world, which amounted to about US Dollar 27 billion last year.

He said talks were on with the US and a few other countries to start the bilateral money order transfer facility with them.

Giving details of the proposed facility, he said this would enable NRIs in the UAE to remit up to 2,500 Dirhams at a time to their relatives in India at a transaction cost of 11 or 14 Dirhams for post office or doorstep delivery respectively.

While not disclosing the share that his department would get from the service charge, Mr Khan said ''it is decent. Maybe, even more than 50 per cent.'' Stating that 11 or 14 Dirhams was a competitive rate, he said the postal department's money order facility would have the additional advantage of home delivery if the remittance was up to Rs 20,000.

He said the Department of Posts was looking for new products for income generation in the light of the expected additional expenditure to meet the sixth pay commission recommendations.

During 2007-08, the department had earned a revenue of Rs 2,034 crore through sale of premium products such as speed post, business post, bill mail service, media post and express parcel post. This was an increase of nearly 35 per cent over the revenue earned during 2006-07.

The department was expecting a revenue of about Rs 6,000 crore during 2007-08.

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