POSTAL DEPARTMENT RATIONALISES POSTAL TARIFFS AFTER A LONG STRUGGLE BY RTI ACTIVISTs
It refers to response dated March 29, 2016 from Department of Posts wherein the Department ultimately rationalised foreign-mail tariffs according to equal tariff-rise for equal rise in slab-weight.
Earlier at several slabs, an article sent in two parts surprisingly used to cost less than if sent in one parcel! It was only after Central Information Commission after being shocked to know that suggestions in this regard went unnoticed for several decades directed for providing working sheets on the logical suggestions.
Even postal authorities were surprised to notice that the suggestions published in a three-decade back media interview dated June 23, 1986 were repeatedly replied that "Suggestions have been noted, and will be considered at next revision of international postal-tariffs", meaning thereby that in practice there is no value of suggestions sent to government departments.
Even postal-orders of rupees 1, 2, 5 and 7 were discontinued through RTI petition and print of revised commission of postal orders were affected after more than a decade of revision.
It is time that Speed Post tariffs are also rationalized where presently postal tariffs for ordinary unreliable mail is surprisingly less than fast, reliable and economical Speed Post tariff at many slabs. Speed Post tariffs should be same for throughout the country with equal tariff rise for equal rise in weight slabs. Speed Post tariffs (inclusive of service tax) can be revised as Rs 20 per every 50 gms or part for complete nation universally.
RTI response reveals that Post Cards and Inland Letters have lost their utility with these highly subsidized postal-items being misused for business-purposes. Inland Letters should be abolished, and Post Cards should only be in sponsored Meghdoot-category to be priced at rupee one also because coins of 25 paise are no more minted, and those of 50-paise are practically out of circulation.
Postal-tariff should be minimum rupee one even for sending registered newspapers. With multi-fold cost-rise in newspaper publication, it is senseless to put Department of Posts under heavy loss by continuing with such heavy subsidy in postal tariffs.
(Mr. Subhash Chandra Agrawal is a noted RTI activist)