March 13, 2012

India's postal services to cost more

For the first time in ten years, India Post will soon increase charges for postal services upto 20% to meet its operational costs. The decision, which awaits the Reserve Bank of India's approval, would rake in additional revenue of about Rs. 1000 crore as it gears up to convert more than 1.5 lakh post offices into full-fledged banks.

The hike on speed post, inland letters, money orders and post cards also comes because the government has moved towards corporatisation of India Post. Post offices currently offer financial services such as savings bank accounts, postal life insurance, pension payments and money transfer services.

A top india post official confirmed that the hike has been approved by the Postal Regulatory Commission. India Post officials argue that the charges are heavily subsidized and much lower than the cost of services being offered by private courier services.

Despite having initiated the new hybrid mail service ePost, railway ticket vending and sale of gold coins, India Post has not been able to generate additional revenue. Till last November, it earned over Rs. 81 lakh.

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