Sunday, 8 January 2012

Indian postal service to offer e-stamps, plans to upgrade IT infrastructure

 The Indian Postal services department (DoP) has sanctioned $223 Million for IT infrastructure upgrade and plan to replace paper stamps with e-stamps within the next two years.
The Indian postal services that has been backbone of communication in this huge country is now preparing itself to embrace technology. The department is planning to offer e-stamps and upgrade their IT infrastructure. For the IT infrastructure upgrade, the department has sanctioned around $223 Million (or 1,000 Crore INR). IT majors Capgemini, Wipro, TCS, Infosys, HCL, IBM and HP are in talks for this project which expected to be a two to three years contract.
The project is part of the India Post 2012 plan and the department expects to increase efficiency in their HR, financial services, mail operations and postal insurance divisions. The Indian postal services have 155,015 post offices across the country out of which 12,604 offices have beencomputerized. By 2012 the plan is to get all the offices equiped with computers and able to communicate with each other, which is not possible as of today. The Department of Post talkingabout the project said, “DoP is faced with twin challenges of increasing competition and continuing advances in communication technology, especially in mobile telephony and the internet. In order to provide the best-in-class customer service, deliver new services and improve operational efficiencies, DoP has undertaken an end-to-end IT modernisation project to equip itself with requisite modern tools and technologies.”
The other announcement from the Department of Post (DoP) is about offering e-stamps to replace the paper stamps. US firm Accenture has been roped in for the project which according to an official should replace paper postage stamps within two years. The two main benefits of e-stamps are:
  1. reduce the rampant losses incurred due to stamp forgery by cutting printing costs,
  2. making it easier for users to get the stamps.
Based on numbers shared by the department, there was close to $136 Million (Rs 606 crores) worth of stamps sold in 2008-09 and a loss of $811 Million (Rs. 3,638 crores) was reported with a 34% jump in expenditure. Both these projects undertaken by the department are refreshing and amazing on parts of the bureaucrats involved. It was a pleasant surprise to see DoP havingtwitter presence too.


SB ORDER NO. 31/2011

Government of India
Ministry of Communications & IT
Department of Posts
Dak Bhawan, Sansad Marg,
New Delhi-110001, Dated: 02.01.2012


All Heads of Circles/Regions
Addl. Director General, APS, New Delhi.

Subject:- Clarification regarding calculation of Post Maturity Interest.

Sir / Madam,
The undersigned is directed to refer to this office letter of even number dated 13.12.2011 (SB Order No.31/2011) and Corrigendum issued on 20.12.2011 on the subject. Text mentioned under Point (5) of SB Order No. 31/2011 may be replaced with the following:-

(5) Maximum limit of 2 years fixed for admissibility of Post Maturity Interest has been removed...

Procedure:- Now PMI should be paid at the simple interest rate applicable to savings account from time to time from the date of maturity to date of payment. Limit of maximum of two years has been removed. The rate of interest shall be equal to the rate applicable from the date of maturity to the date of payment at different times. For example, if an account was matured on 26.8.2010 and the depositor attends the post office on 15.01.2012, he will be paid PMI at the rate 3.5% from 01.09.2010 to 30.11.2011 and at the rate 4% from 1.12.2011 to 31.12.2011. This shall be applicable to the existing as well as new investments in all schemes. Calculations’ are to be made manually and recorded in the Register to be maintained in manuscript for future reference till software is amended. All other conditions mentioned in the relevant rules shall remain unchanged.

Note:- For the purpose of payment of interest, any part of the period which is less than one month shall be ignored

This issues with the approval of DDG(FS).
Yours faithfully,
(Kawal Jit Singh)
Assistant Director (SB)