Government withdraws proposed amendments to Indian Postal Act

The department of posts (DoP) would redraft the Bill once again and send it for the cabinet’s consideration.

The department of posts (DoP) would redraft the Bill once again and send it for the cabinet’s consideration.

“We have withdrawn the amendments to the Postal Act. We will draft new Bill and go to the Cabinet again,” DoP secretary Radhika Doraiswamy told reporters at a function here.

The DoP has decided to withdraw the amendments after receiving several objections from different ministries and the prime minister’s office on the proposals. The Bill was also facing strong objections from the courier companies as it proposed to curtail their power in sending and receiving mails and parcels.

The scrapped Bill had a provision which restricted courier companies to handle delivery of documents and letters below 300 gm weight. The Bill had also proposed a universal service obligation fee for courier companies on the lines of those paid by the telecom service providers. Under the proposed USO, courier companies with annual turnover of Rs 25 lakh or more were to part with 10% of their turnover with the government.

The proposed Bill had also recommended lowering the foreign direct investment cap in the courier industry. It had also recommended that courier companies charge higher fees for mail delivery than those charged by the speed post service of the India Post if they wished to handle mails of lower than the prescribed weight under the Bill.

On the proposal for the commercial utilisation of excess land of the postal department Ms Doraiswamy said that the committee of secretaries (CoS) would take a final call on the matter in its meeting on February 6.

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