Courier companies against amendment to post office bill
Chennai, Apr 25 (UNI) The Association of Express Industry-South India today resolved to strike work as a last resort, to protest against the proposed amendment to the Indian Post Office bill, prohibiting courier companies from handling letters below 300 gm in weight.
Talking to newspersons here, Association secretary A Sheriff said if the amendment was allowed to be passed in the present format, over 3000 companies in the country, including 300 registered courier service companies in Tamil Nadu, would be forced to close down, rendering more than 15 lakh people jobless.
As nearly 80 per cent of courier companies handled letters of less than 300 gm of weight, it would be a death knell to them if the government went ahead with its decision to bring the amendments and prevented courier companies from handling letters weighing below 300 gm , he said.
The courier industry generated annunal revenue of Rs 4500 crore and was paying service tax of Rs 400 crore to the Centre.
Besides, it was also functioning as a collecting agent for the Centre, collecting Rs 200 crore of Income Tax and more than Rs 100 crore of customs duty.
The industry had invested about Rs 2500 crore in vehicles, technology and other infrastructure over time and was providing service to the corporate sector, public sector undertakings and even to the government and judiciary.
Mr Sheriff said the corporate sector in the country, which sent 10 lakh letters a day, saved Rs 20 per consignment, which translated into a saving of Rs two crore a day, Rs 50 crore a month and Rs 600 crore a year.
He said the industry had no objection to government appointing a Regulatory Authority and welcomed fair and healthy competition, but was dead against the "draconian" amendment.
The association would present a Memorandum to the Governor, to be forwarded to the Government of India. It also proposed to take out peace marches, stage protest demonstrations and as a last resort, join a nation-wide strike, Mr Sheriff added.
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