Guwahati general post office
Guwahati, June 3: The Assam Postal Circle, placed second after Chhattisgarh with a growth of 30 per cent in 2011-12, plans to further augment its revenue with emphasis on financial and premium services during the current year.
“Our gross revenue from the services during the last fiscal was pegged at Rs 120 crore as against Rs 92 crore in 2010-11. The circle was placed second after Chhattisgarh in terms of a year-on-year growth of 30 per cent. The feat can be attributed to the premium services that we offered through logistics and media post,” Pawan Kumar Singh, director, postal services (headquarters), Assam circle, told The Telegraph.
Premium services had contributed business of over Rs 10 crore in the past year.
The department had earned Rs 2 crore through distribution of 4 lakh TET (teacher eligibility test) forms from 165 post-offices across the state last year, along with distribution of admit cards and result sheets to 50,000 candidates. “Through logistics post, we had transported Sarva Siksha Abhiyan (SSA) textbooks from Amingaon to each education block. This gave us gross revenue of Rs 4 crore,” Singh said.
Through Speed Post, another major premium service, the circle earned about Rs 6 crore last year. “By providing this service to institutions such as the State Bank of India, Life Insurance Corporation of India, IIT Guwahati, Gauhati University, et al, we could earn approximately Rs 6 crore last year,” the official said.
Media post advertisements — the advertisements on postcards, letters, aerogrammes, postal stationery and space sponsorship options on letter boxes, among others — contributed Rs 1.4 crore to the circle last year. “We had carried out awareness programmes for the consumer affairs ministry through which we could connect with the masses. We provide this service in our rural post offices,” he said.
Financial services, too, helped the circle boost growth. “We had created 8 lakh new accounts across the nine divisions generating Rs 13 crore during the last fiscal. This is done on behalf of the finance ministry. For each live account, the department gets Rs 151 as against Rs 21 for a silent account (where transactions have not taken place for three years),” the official said.
The Assam circle currently has 53 lakh active post office savings bank accounts, which include savings, recurring and time deposits, among others.
“We have 53 lakh live savings accounts and 12.5 lakh MGNREGA accounts. However, our strategy for the current year will be to revive the 10 lakh inactive accounts so as to generate revenue of Rs 15 crore from them alone,” Singh said.
The department has made healthy progress in postal life insurance and rural postal life insurance in the past seven years. “In terms of policy val-ue, it has grown six times from Rs 47 crore in 2005-06 to Rs 290 crore in 2011-12,” Singh said.
Altogether, 11,370 life insurance and 68,590 rural life insurance policies were procured with a gross business of Rs 726 crore during 2011-12. Among the nine divisions of the circle, Sivasagar alone procured rural life insurance business of Rs 107 crore, followed by Nagaon with Rs 100.50 crore.
“The circle had earned revenue of Rs 10.6 crore from postal life insurance and rural postal life insurance alone last year. This year, we plan to focus on realisation of premiums as against policy collections. Our revenue is generated only when the premiums are realised. Apart from procurement of more high-value policies, the emphasis will also be on revival of lapsed policies,” he added.
Assam is the only postal circle in the country where all 625 departmental post offices have been computerised.
“Once the core banking solutions pilot project gets under way in 12 post offices across the state in the first phase, the services would be streamlined. We also plan to set up 24 ATMs by the end of this fiscal. Besides, under the rural infrastructure communication technology pilot project, we plan to cover 500 sub-post offices across the nine divisions by 2014,” he added.