Subhash Chandra Agrawal for BeyondHeadlines
An RTI response revealed that fourteen postal-services causing extra-ordinary heavy loss to India’s Postal Department with some services not being used much.
A post-card worth just 50 paise costs rupees 7.18 to the department while not-so-much used and outdated Inland Letter Card priced at rupees 2.50 also costs department rupees 7.18.
Significantly postal-department bears maximum loss on mailing registered newspapers at just 25 paise but costing the department rupees 10.59.
With 25-coins discontinued and 50-paise coins virtually disappeared from circulation, minimum postal-tariff should be rupee one especially at a time when even beggars refuse to accept coins below rupee one.
Postal-department should discontinue Inland-Letter-Cards, and should have only sponsored ‘Meghdoot’ post-cards priced at rupee one with a part of subsidised cost coming from those having advertisements on the sponsored post-cards.
An ordinary commoner may be using just one or two post-cards a month, but the heavy subsidy-bill costs much more indirectly in terms of fiscal-deficit or additional taxes on other commodities to meet heavy postal-subsidy.
All inland postal-tariffs (other than post cards and registered newspapers) including Speed Post tariffs should be fixed in multiples of rupees five while foreign-mail tariffs in multiples of rupees 20.
Department of Post should approach Department of Revenue with plea to treat all postal-services equally in regard of levying service tax by abolishing service-tax on select postal-services like Speed Post.
Air and Surface (sea) mail tariffs for foreign mail should be fixed independently for equal tariff-rise for every 20 gms additional weight-slab for air-mail tariffs abolishing present system of levying air-surcharge on surface (sea) mail tariffs.
Likewise Surface (sea) mail tariffs for foreign mail can be fixed for equal tariff-rise for every 20 gms additional weight-slab. All this will enable postal-department issuing commemorative stamps only in two denominations of rupees five and twenty.
(Subhash Chandra Agrawal is a Guinness Record Holder & RTI Activist)