Fettering courier services


Sunday, April 30, 2006

Letter sent to New Indian Express 0n 25th April, '06

Even as the country is moving fast towards liberalisation (a term as a substitute for the word 'privatisation', since the P-word is still an anathema to the Indian socialistic mind-set) of even the Railways, Ports and Airports, it is most shocking that a motley group of unionists calling themselves the 'National Federation of Postal Employees' has managed to make this big a thrust in the reverse direction. It is particularly shocking considering that the private sector dominated courier industry in the country has fully matured today, from the time of liberalisation almost a decade back, and is most indispensable to the efficient functioning of the nation's economy. In fact, the maturity has reached a level where there is no more the need for even any fresh regulatory mechanism, as is being suggested by the unionists. A question that arises in all this is how come the minister concerned, Sri Dayanidhi Maran, of SUN TV fame, which the unionists can similarly accuse ( alongwith the other channels) of having usurped Doordarshan's business, have allowed this campaign to progress this far? Also, why are the Manmohan Singh's and Chidambaram's totally silent?

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

letter mailed to Times of India on 21st April, '06

The report in your columns today about the move of the Union government to amend the Indian Post Office Act to bar courier companies from services pertaining to letters and packets weighing less than 300 gms, in order to protect the ailing postal sector, is dismaying to say the least.

The Indian postal system is doing an excellent job. It has of recent come up with many innovative schemes to increase its revenue and sustain its operations. Whatever, the rural operations can never be cost-effective, and there is no harm in the government providing necessary budgetary support to sustain this crucial role. In fact, these are the kind of roles that the government needs to play, as well as confine itself, to. Instead of thinking along these lines, when certain sections in the government start turning the clock back to the old monopoly ways, it is not just retrograde, but totally alarming.

The dependence of the economy today on the efficient services by the private sector players is epitomised by the engaging of their services even by the IRCTC (Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Ltd), and public sector banks, in preference to the government-owned SPEEDPOST. Returning to the monopoly era will lead to a total collapse of the many dependent services, which the country just cannot afford any longer.

As such, not only should the move be curbed right away, but even the babu's who came up with the proposal should be weeded out, so that the message goes right across and no one else tries such mis-adventurism ever again.