Department Of Posts: Old Plans On Track

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The achievements claimed by the Department of Posts during the one year of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s term in office centre around the implementation of plans announced and programmes started by the previous government, such as automation and core banking solutions.

 

We emailed our findings to the ministry last week, requesting comment. There was no response

 

1.      Post offices networked: Approved in 2012, most networking during UPA term

 

Claim: 27,215 post offices networked into one national unit.

 

 

Check revealed: The central government approved a Rs 4,909-crore “IT Modernisation Project” in November, 2012. The objectives included:

 

  • Computerisation of all post offices, mail offices, administrative and other offices
  • IT  infrastructure and development of software applications

 

The IT project aims to provide postal customers with call-centre services, Internet, ATM, mobile banking and net banking for Post Office Savings Bank customers; and provides an electronic and secure mode of money transfer, including doorstep delivery, even in rural areas.

 

A major portion of the networking of post offices was done during the term of the previous government, and 26,597 post offices were connected over a wide-area network by December 31, 2014.

 

Year Budget for IT Modernisation Project of Department of Posts (In Rs crore)
2011-12 536.6
2012-13 516
2013-14 532.2
2014-15 506.4

Source: Lok Sabha

 

2. Proposal for handheld micro-ATMs to post offices: proposed in 2012 

Claim: As many as 1 30,000 handheld biometric devices to be provided to rural post offices.

 

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Check revealed: Equipping rural post offices with “hand-held devices with biometric identification, micro-ATM enablement, network-provided printer to provide receipts to customer and a solar-powered battery to charge and operate the micro-ATM” was an objective originally mentioned in the IT Modernisation Project, 2012. It isn’t yet clear when these will be delivered.

 

3. Core banking-enabled post offices grow: As they have in the past, as per plan

 

Claim: Post offices offering banking services increased from 236 in 2013-14 to 2,590 in 2014-15.

 

 

Check revealed: Core banking services are part of the IT Modernisation Project, 2012. The project proposed ATM, Internet and mobile banking for post-office savings-schemes users.

 

Around 1,000 ATMs are proposed across India. The rollout of core banking services and ATM installation began in September 2012, and the completion target date is March 2016.

 

By March 2013, 360 post offices and eight ATMs were commissioned. 1,436 post offices offered core banking services by December 2014.

 

Comparing implementation during 2013-14 and 204-15 does not make sense because the project is running through its implementation–as planned.

 

S. No. Name of the Postal Circle No of ATMs Proposed
1 Andhra Pradesh 95
2 Assam 26
3 Bihar 44
4 Chattisgarh 14
5 Delhi 26
6 Gujarat 41
7 Haryana 20
8 Himachal Pradesh 22
9 Jammu & Kashmir 13
10 Jharkhand 19
11 Karnataka 76
12 Kerala 56
13 Madhya Pradesh 52
14 Maharashtra 75
15 North-East 23
16 Odisha 44
17 Punjab 26
18 Rajasthan 64
19 Tamil Nadu 94
20 Uttar Pradesh 88
21 Uttarakhand 18
22 West Bengal 64
Total 1000

Source: Lok Sabha

 

4. Cash-on-delivery growth figures technically correct, but disingenuous.

 

Claim: Cash on delivery revenue was Rs 100 crore in 2013-14 and Rs 500 crore in 2014-15

 

 

Check Revealed: Department of Posts introduced cash on delivery (COD) as value addition to the parcel service with effect from December 2, 2013 which is available to the contractual customers of express parcel, business parcel and speed post. So, the Rs 100 crore figure regarding COD during 2013-14 pertains to only a three-month period in 2013-14.

 

5. Report used to show Speed Post superior in 2014-15 covers different year

 

Claim: CAG report laid in Parliament on May 8, 2015 highlights that Speed Post is far better than private couriers.

 

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Check Revealed: The CAG report 20 of 2015- Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India on Communications and IT tabled in Parliament on May 8, 2015 is a performance and compliance audit report for the year ending March 2013.

 

6. Speed post revenues grew 7.4% in 2014-15, but growth rates higher in previous years

 

Claim: Speed post revenues grew to Rs 1,470 crore in 2014-15, up 7.4% over last year

 

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Check Revealed: Parliamentary data reveals that speed post revenues have grown from Rs 515 crore in 2008-09 to Rs 1,372 crore in 2013-14 at a compounded annual growth rate of 17.7% over the duration for 6 years.

 

Year Speed Post Revenue (in Rs crore) Percentage increase from previous year
2008-09 515.3
2009-10 607.6 17.9%
2010-11 748.8 23.2%
2011-12 889.6 18.8%
2012-13 1,261.5 41.8%
2013-14 1,372.2 8.8%
2014-15 1470* 7.4%

Source: Lok Sabha 1, 2; *according to 2014-15 government report card

 

Tomorrow:  Textiles Ministry: Achievements, Carried over

 

 

You can read the other stories in our series below:

1) Overblown, Misleading Claims By 14 Modi Ministries

2) Agriculture Ministry: Old Schemes Renamed, Other Misleading Claims

3) Health Ministry: New Claims, No New Programmes

4) Power Ministry: Marginal Improvements

5) Railway Ministry: 8 Achievements That Really Aren’t

6) Road Transport Ministry: Continues UPA’s Work, Contradicts Own Data

7) Telecom Ministry: Wrong Claims, Bad Maths

8) Sanitation Ministry: Old Wine, New Bottles

 

(Manoj K is a graduate of the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, and the founder of the Centre for Governance and Development. He has a special interest in transparency and accountability in governance and has spearheaded several projects on these subjects. He can be contacted at manoj@cgdindia.org.)

 

References:

Fact Check 1

 1. India Post: http://www.indiapost.gov.in/Modernisation_Introduction.aspx

2. India Post: http://www.indiapost.gov.in/Report/AnnualReport2014-2015English.pdf

3. Lok Sabha: http://164.100.47.132/LssNew/psearch/QResult16.aspx?qref=4547

Fact Check 2

1. India Post: http://www.indiapost.gov.in/Report/Annual_Report_2013-2014.pdf

Fact Check 3

1. Lok Sabha: http://164.100.47.132/LssNew/psearch/QResult15.aspx?qref=149704

2. India Post: http://www.indiapost.gov.in/Report/Annual_Report_2013-2014.pdf

3. Lok Sabha: http://164.100.47.132/LssNew/psearch/QResult16.aspx?qref=10386

4. Lok Sabha: http://www.indiapost.gov.in/Report/AnnualReport2014-2015English.pdf

5. Lok Sabha: http://164.100.47.132/LssNew/psearch/QResult15.aspx?qref=149704

6. India Post: http://www.indiapost.gov.in/Report/AnnualReport2014-2015English.pdf

Fact Check 4

1. India Post: http://www.indiapost.gov.in/Pdf%5COutcomeBudget15_16.pdf

Fact Check 5

1. Comptroller and Auditor General: http://www.saiindia.gov.in/english/home/Our_Products/Audit_Report/Government_Wise/union_audit/recent_reports/union_compliance/2015/IT/Report_20/Report_20.html

2. Comptroller and Auditor General: http://www.saiindia.gov.in/english/home/Our_Products/Audit_Report/Government_Wise/union_audit/recent_reports/union_compliance/2015/IT/Report_20/Preface.pdf

Fact check 6

1. Lok Sabha: Unstarred Question No 1503, Answered On 30.11.2011

2. Lok Sabha: Unstarred Question NO 126, Answered On 24.11.2014

 

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