After Ordnance Factories, Postal Department Under Threat Of Corporatization

Communication Delivery Unit is not expected to make profit, opines C. Srikumar, General Secretary of AIDEF


The postal employees are on a War path against the Government’s decision of corporatization of the Postal Department. In 2019 in a conference of the circle head the Government took a decision to convert the Indian Post Payments Bank (IPPB) in to a small finance bank, and to restructure the Postal Life Insurance and Rural Postal Life Insurance Business of the Postal Department in to a fully regulated Strategic Business Unit (SBU) Registered as a Company.

The Postal Employees are charging the Government that all these decisions based on the Geethakrishnan Committee report are basically aimed at outsourcing and Corporatization with the ultimate goal of total privatization of the Postal Services. The Trade Unions of the Postal Employees are agitating against the Government decisions. It is understood that the Postal Unions are also planning for a strike during the mid of August 2022.

C. Srikumar, General Secretary of AIDEF and Deputy General Secretary of WFTU, who is already leading a movement against Corporatisation of Ordnance Factories, GOCO Model in Defence and has approached the Madras High court against the Government’s decision, told “after the government decision to allow private players in the Railways for managing the Railway Stations, operation of various Train routes, Corporatising the Ordnance Factories, the next attack is on the Postal Department. The attack against Postal Department started in 1991 by introducing outsourcing, shrinking the activities of Postal Services etc. The Government wanted to allow the private couriers legally in Postal Services. The NDA Government immediately after assuming power in 2014 have appointed a high level Task Force Committee headed by TSR Subramanian, a retired Cabinet Secretary. The report named Task Force on leveraging the Post Office Network was a Blueprint for Corporatization and ultimate Privatization of different services. The Committee recommended that the functioning of the Postal Department may be immobilized in to 6 units. Saving Banks, Insurances, Business post Etc. were designated as Strategic Business Units with the Task to earn profit. The traditional postal Service to be designated as

“Communication Delivery Unit” is not expected to make profit. A holding Company under the Department of Postal Services called “India Post, (financial and other services) Corporation would be formed on the lines the Telecom was made BSNL, VSNL and MTNL. The social obligation of Postal Service would be left to the Postal Department, while the Private Corporates will eventually take over the creamy part of the Postal Department such as Saving Banks, PLI/RPLI, Parcels and logistics etc. The Postal Employees agitated against this move of the Government. In the same manner of Corporatizing the Ordnance Factories, taking advantage of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Postal Department also is facing the same danger. The Government announced “Dak Mitra” during the pandemic period, but the fact is it is not Mitra, but is Shatru (enemy).

People of the country have invested their money in Postal Office Saving Banks only with the hope and confidence that in a Government Department their money is safe. Once it is privatized, not only the Postal Employees will suffer, but also the customers and the Small Saving Agents also will be adversely affected. During the Covind-19 pandemic when the entire Transport system came to a standstill, the Postal Department introduced Road Transport, Network for reaching sanitized goods, life saving medicines etc., as a service to the Nation. The employees also cooperated. However even after the restoration of normalcy of Railway and Flight Services, the employees are forced to drive the vehicles beyond 500 Kms., without any protection for them.

More and more outsourcing of the Postal activities are going on in the Postal Department. The employees and their Trade Unions are completely neglected by the Government and the such major decisions are being carried out unilaterally which is going to have serious impact, not only on the employees, but on the common man of the country. The Postal Employees and their Trade Unions should be vigilant and they should fight back against the unilateral decision of the Government to destroy the Postal services. They should reach to the common people of the country, educating them about the danger of
Corporatization and privatization of the Postal Department.

Views expressed here are those of C. Srikumar, General Secretary of AIDEF and Deputy General Secretary of WFTU

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