Postal Dept losing public, gaining corporate clients

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Hoshiarpur, Aug 6 (UNI) Indian public was discarding the humble 'in-land' and postcard in favour of quicker means of communications like e-mails and SMS but the Corporate mail had begun relying more on the Indian Postal service.

There was a decline of 45 per cent in individual postal services in the country whereas there had been a tremendous increase in the business from Corporate sector, Chief Post Master General of Indian Postal Department, Punjab circle, Prithvi Raj Kumar said here today.

Indian Postal Department had to bear a loss of Rs 1200 crore in 2006-07 of which the loss of Rs 550 crore was incurred from rural post offices of the country, he said.

However, despite running into heavy losses, the Indian Postal Department was planning to expand and diversify its services and would continue to provide postal material at subsidised rates for the common man, he said.

Post offices had collected Rs 55,00,000 crore in the country.

Such a big amount had not been collected by any of the bank, claimed Mr Kumar.

As many as 1,55,204 post offices were functioning throughout the country of which 39,07 were in Punjab, he said.

To overcome the losses, an agreement was being inked with the State Bank of India for collecting the Bank's loan application forms from the loan seekers to hand them over to 333 branches of the SBI.

To make payment of wages for 100 days to the beneficiaries of NREGA scheme, their accounts were being opened in post offices. Old age pension under Indira Gandhi old age scheme would also be given through post offices, he said.

Railway booking facilities had already been stared at post offices of Chandigarh, Mohali and Patiala and it was planned to extend this facility in other post offices soon.

The postmen will now also collect and book registered and speed post letters and deliver postal stamps at the door steps of the public very shortly, he said.

To increase the income, it had been proposed to start the sale of mutual funds, coins, PGI and Punjab University admission forms at post offices.

Mr Kumar further said that people had deposited Rs 16500 crore in post offices during last year. There had been more than 51 lakh account holders in post offices in the state.

An amount of Rs 219 crore had been collected under Rural Life Insurance during last year.

A target of Rs 300 crore had been fixed for the current financial year. Cent per cent inhabitants of 660 villages in Punjab had their accounts in post offices, he said.

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