Postal department can become leader in e-commerce delivery
Himanshu Vatsa | The Dollar Business The Postal Department can become a leader in delivery of goods as part of e-commerce, said Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister of Communications and Information Technology. The Postal Department has recorded growth of more than 36% in parcel revenue in the last one year. The department has collected more than Rs 500 crore for cash-on-delivery (COD) articles of major e-commerce players such as Amazon, Flipkart, Snapdeal, Yepme, Naaptol, etc., in 2014-15. Lauding the department’s strong network of mail delivery across the country, the minister said that it should focus more on quick delivery of goods purchased and sold online. “The department should step up its efforts to ramp up its capabilities to book, process, transmit and deliver e-commerce articles. By doing so, the department can easily become a market leader in domestic e-commerce delivery segment,” the minister said. The statement came after Prasad held a review meeting with the Postal Department officials in New Delhi on Friday. The minister also asked senior officials of various postal circles to have one-to-one meeting with e-commerce players operating in their areas to collect their feedback about the services and undertake immediate remedial action wherever required. Talking about the potential of e-commerce in India, the minister said that the reluctance of Indian consumers’ to share debit or credit card details has led to the popularity of cash-on-delivery (COD) in online purchases. “In India, a new concept has appeared — cash on delivery. They are still reluctant to share their cards. It’s a new Indian product,” Prasad said at the National Leadership Conclave held in New Delhi earlier this week. On Friday, Prasad met the Postal Department officials to discuss issues related to the setting up of post bank, mail delivery, and e-commerce. He said that the proposed post bank should become a game changer in Indian banking sector. The post bank should become a local agency for the recently announced MUDRA Bank, the minister said. MUDRA (Micro Units Development Refinance Agency) Bank, a regulatory body for micro finance institutions (MFIs), was launched last month to benefit small entrepreneurs. Apart from formulating policy guidelines for micro enterprise financing business, MUDRA is also entrusted with the task of registration of MFI entities as well as their accreditation and rating. The minister also suggested that the post bank accounts should be linked to Aadhar so that various government schemes for direct benefit transfer (DBT) could be rolled out through these banks. In order to improve the visibility of rural branch post offices, the minister directed the department to install large signage boards within a span of 6 months. About complaints over delay in mail delivery, Kavery Banerjee, Secretary, Department of Posts, said that the ratio of complaints in speed post was 1:10,000. Speed post was the market leader in domestic express sector owing to its reach, track, trace and delivery performance, the secretary said, adding that the department has taken measures to improve mail delivery through development of road transport network, nodal mechanized delivery in larger cities and use of IT solutions for monitoring letter box clearance.
May 2, 2015 | 4:11 pm IST.