In the past five years, the Department of Posts’ (DoP) mail traffic has registered a decline of nearly 50 percent due to increased competition from private couriers and other new modes of communication, especially the value-added services in the telecom sector, The Hindureported.
According to a recent DoP’s performance audit report, DoP had failed to improve its operational efficiency, reduce staff costs and modernise its operations to render better services to the customer. “DoP continued to incur losses during the last five years and 16 out of 20 postal services continued to sustain losses over the years. The net loss for the year ending March 31, 2006, was Rs.1,207.71 crore,” stated the report prepared by the Comptroller and AuditorGeneral of India.
Despite making ambitious plans and sanctioning money for it, DoP had failed to implement its modernisation plans.“The projects for computerisation ofhead records offices, computerisedregistration centres and transit mailoffices have fallen behind scheduleand the computers installed were notbeing used for faster processing mailand other articles in handling offices,”said the CAG report.
Failure to standardise mail and ensure adequate public awareness about the advantages of using standard postal stationery were the two main reasons behind the fiasco. One of the main reasons behind DoP’s dismal performance is the uncontrolled growth of courier companies that are operating in violation of norms.