New Delhi, Apr 20: Facing stiff competition from private courier firms, the government today said it will arm India Posts with exlusive rights to carry and deliver letters weighing upto 300 gm and said it would address the issue of accountability and transparency by setting up of a regulatory body as well as a dispute settlement tribunal.
Justifying the move the Department of Posts said the private courier companies often operate only in "creamy" areas and big business centres.
The "requirement of keeping a small segment of postal business was exclusive privilege aimed at providing service to deprived class of people." The draft Bill also proposed levying a fee of up to 10 per cent of revenue of courier companies with a turnover of Rs 25 lakh and more towards Universal Service Obligation (USO) Fund and registration and renewal fee of Rs 25,000 and Rs 10,000 respectively for small and medium couriers.
The fee would, go up to Rs 10 lakh for registration and five lakh for renewal for large couriers operating nationally and internationally while exempting the small of medium companies from contribution to USO Fund.
The independent Regulator as in Telecom, Power and Insurance sector will fix a quality parameters like service criteria, deliverance parameters and from time to time performance evaluation would be done for the benefit of the customers.
By regulatory framework making the courier industry coming within the law, the accountability to the consumer and common man in far-flung area will be ensured, according to the draft bill.
Independent Regulator will strengthen the enforcement of rights of and consumers and growth of new products and services at competitive rate will emerge ultimately giving benefits customers.