Sunday, August 14, 2016

Expedite setting up of postal regulatory body: Par Panel

Expressing displeasure over delay in setting up a regulator for postal and courier services, a Parliamentary panel has said there is an urgent need for putting in place a monitoring mechanism for these services. 

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology, in its report tabled in Parliament, said: "In order to regulate the private courier services which goes unregulated as on date, there is an urgent need for putting in place a regulator/monitoring mechanism for postal services, especially to regulate the private courier services and private parcel services."

It added the committee had earlier suggested that the government must consider establishing a postal regulator on the lines of telecom regulator, insurance regulator, financial regulator, etc to govern the sector. 

"This would ensure fair play, healthy competition and accountability in courier services," it had said adding that the DoP should study the best practices followed in other countries as well. 

The committee noted that the Department of Posts, in its action taken notes, spoke of implementing an IT modernisation project and firming up a proposal for amendment of Indian Post Office Act, 1898, covering both postal and courier sectors. 

"However, the action taken note is completely silent on the issue of a regulator for the postal service," it added. 

It added while it appears that the amendment, for which action is yet to be initiated by the Department, would take care of the issue of regulator for postal services but subsequent changes in processes and extant rules will take some time. 

"The issue merits urgent attention of the Department, particularly in the light of the potential (that) courier services and parcel services have for revenue generation," it said. 

It further said: "...The Committee, while expressing their displeasure that the issue has not been taken up with due seriousness, reiterate their earlier recommendation and desire the Department to implement the above suggestion of the Committee expeditiously".

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