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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Fixation of unrealistic targets for P O S B transactions

Divisional Union wrote to Circle Union / CHQ / NFPE on Fixation of unrealistic targets for  POSB transactions:
1.    Com Ramesh Chandra  Mishra,
Circle Secretary, AIPEU, Group-C, Odisha Circle and Vice President, CHQ, At – PSD, Bhubaneswar – 751 007
2.    Com. K V Sridharan
General Secretary, AIPEU, Group-C, CHQ, Dada Ghosh Bhawan, 2151/1, New Patel Nagar, New Deli – 110 008
3.    Com. M Krishna
Secretary General, N F P E, North Avenue P O Building, New Delhi – 110 001

No.      UN-BN/AIPEU-Gr.-C/03-12/2010,           Dated at  Bhubaneswar the 14th December, 2010
Sub:-  Fixation of unrealistic targets for  P O S B transactions

Dear Comrade,
You might have gone through the S B Orders recently circulated by the Directorate in connection with reinvestment of maturity value  of one scheme to same or another ( S B Order No. 13/2010 vide Dte.’s letter No.113-3/2008-SB), dated 26.07.2010, admissibility of interest after death of  depositor  before maturity in case of SCSS-2004 ( SB Order No.17/2010 vide Dte.’s letter No.79-01/2010-SB, dated 23.08.2010 and above all introduction of Anti-Money Laundering / Combating of Financing of Terrorism norms ( SB order No.18/2010 vide Dte.’s letter No.109-04/2007-SB, dated 24.08.2010). All these orders have imposed several restrictions both on the post offices and on customers for investment / reinvestment. Particularly due to strict adherence of the instructions under  Customer Due Diligence / Know Your Customer (KYC) norms vide SB Order No.18/2010, customers have started grumbling at the post office counters expressing serious dissatisfaction  when asked for their address proof, identity proof and photographs etc. for opening of new accounts / purchase of certificates and as experienced, most of such customers never return with the required documents  and thus there has been a decreasing trend in investment in post offices.
2.         Physical presence of customers at the time of opening of account / purchase of certificates has been made mandatory now vide SB Order No.18/2010. The customers opting their transactions through agents are seen avoiding to come in person to post office which directly affects the investments under POSB schemes.
3.         Compulsory submission of PAN / declaration in Form 60 / 61  in case of investment exceeding Rs.50000/-  is another cause of decreasing investment in post offices. The Post Office Small Savings Schemes have  not remained favourable anymore for small investors – most customers opine due to the recent restrictions.
4.         No revision in rates of interest since 2003 has already affected the deposits under various POSB schemes   which has been a question in the Parliament several times with no result.
5.         Though the account opening form ( SB-3 ) has since been revised vide S B order No.16/2010 (Dte.’s letter No.114-01/2002-SB, dated 23.08.2010), neither the new form nor the old SB – 3 is presently available in Orissa Circle. While all post offices are not computerized with net facilities and xerox facilities are not available everywhere especially in rural areas,  Post Offices  have been advised to download the same from website or to make photocopy for supplying to the customers which has created an embarrassing situation for post offices before the customers. A period of four months is going to be elapsed. But the Department has failed to print and supply revised SB-3 forms to post offices IN Orissa Circle.
            When the SPMs / Postmasters are working under the above restrictions confining themselves within the four walls of the Post Office, the Department has fixed unrealistic targets for opening of new accounts and issue / discharge of certificates. For example, the following targets have been fixed for the post offices in Bhubaneswar Division during 2010-11. 
            Name of the office
No. of accounts to be opened by 31.03.2011
No. of certificated to issued & discharged by 31.03.2011
Bhubaneswar GPO
“A” Class S O
“B” Class S O
“C” Class S O

Since the duties of the SPMs / Postmasters are confined to the four walls of the Post Office and they don’t have any other option except requesting the customers through the Counter P As, this Divisional union does not find any justification for fixing the above targets for the SPMs / Postmasters. Illustratively, as known to this union, Sahidnagar MDG in spite of its prime location in the capital city of Odisha has only opened 1007 accounts and issued/discharged 5904 savings certificates out of 4000 and 17000 targeted respectively as on 30.11.2010. Thus, certainly, the target fixed for the post offices are unrealistic and unachievable. This might be the position in other circles also.
Thus, this union is of the opinion that instead of giving targets to the SPMs / Postmasters for procuring business under different POSB schemes, the Circle Administration / Directorate, in addition to giving priority for Core Banking Solution, should be appraised suitably for  considering  to:
1.    Deploy special filed staff for collecting business under POSB schemes as like as Business / Marketing Executive for Business Development.
2.    Recruit special agents for procuring POSB business as made for PLI / RPLI without depending upon the existing SAS/MPKBY agents. The case of retired postal employees may be considered for the purpose.
3.    Allow postmen staff to collect business on POSB Scheme on commission basis as given to SAS / MPKBY agents.
4.    Take the matter with Ministry of Finance, Govt. of India for increasing  rates of interests in various POSB Schemes.
5.    Grant normal savings bank interest for completed months in case of premature closure of various Time Deposit accounts. Presently, no interest is paid if withdrawn prematurely after 6 months but before expiry of one year. Where a deposit  in a 2 year, 3 year or 5 year account is withdrawn prematurely after the expiry of one year from the date of deposit, interest is paid for completed years but 2 % less than the rate specified  for deposit of 1 year, 2 year and 3 year  respectively as the case may be.  Such conditions need to be withdrawn immediately.
6.    Remove ceiling fixed for Single / Joint S B Accounts, MIS and SCSS Accounts. When the Govt. has already allowed fixed deposits under TD Accounts ( for 1,2,3 and 5 years ) and Savings Certificates  ( for 6 years in case of NSC and 8 years 7 months in case of KVP ) without any limit, there may not be any logic for restricting the MIS Account for 6 years and SCSS for 5 years.
7.    Print and supply the revised forms at once.
8.    Print leaflets / brochures / literatures  on various POSB schemes preferably carrying the salient features and comparative benefits of the same schemes provided by our competitors and give to post offices in huge quantity  for circulation amongst the customers. This has been a great draw back in Orissa Circle. The SPMs / Postmasters are quite unable for instant supply of a literature to a needy customer due to scarcity of printing and supply. These are being printed in small quantity, perhaps  annually once  which does not satisfy the requirement. As experienced, the importance of advertising has not yet been felt seriously by the Department.
9.    Supply Pass Book and Certificate covers for instant motivation.
10. Relax the norms for opening of S B and R D  Accounts and for purchase of KVPs ( up to certain amount ) which are really meant for small savings. A poor man from lower income group, preferably a daily labourer, now finds it difficult for opening a R D Account of Rs10/- denomination and for purchase of a KVP of Rs.100/- denomination. Many customers from this group fail to produce identity and address proof. Special relaxation may be there for BPL card holders.

With Greetings.
Comradely yours,
Bruhaspati Samal
AIPEU, Group-C
Bhubaneswar Division


  1. already postman staff are earning a lot of money through gifts and bribes from the public. why do you want to interfere in the life of SAS poor agents who rely their lives on this money earned by canvassing among the public for small savings schemes.

  2. Dear friend,
    I don’t know whether you have ever offered any gift /bribe to a postman or not. But you should know that the person offering bribe is more dangerous to a corruption free society than the person accepting the same since the first category encourages corruption. You have told regarding canvassing by agents to customers. Can you tell the percentage of business an agent gives the post office by actual canvassing and the same by standing at the post office counter ? How do you consider it- canvassing or diversion of the direct customers ? And regarding my intention of allowing the postman to collect POSB business is just to increase the percentage and not to discourage the agents. You should know that the Ministry of Finance, Govt. of India has already warned this Department to attain self sufficiency for which the Department is fixing targets. Since the scope of the SPM / Postmaster is limited, this is just a proposal for consideration. There should be combined efforts to earn more revenue for the Department.

  3. Thanks Comrade for your beautiful suggestions. Department should recruit special agents of its own for POSB Schemes.

  4. Yes Comrade,
    You are right . Now time has come for taking the isuue seriously. There should be change in the rate of interests, special field staff for POSB scheme.

  5. Thanks Commred,It is a free and frank views,and also very good suggetion.Such effective systems needs to be introduced.dipti...

  6. Dear Comrade Binod & Satya,
    You might have noticed that an article titled "Does it count what a Postmaster observes" written by me paricularly basing on this aspect was published in "Postal Crusader" ( Monthly journal of NFPE ) of November,2008 issue. Our General Secretary has raised the issue several times also in Bhartiya Post. But no result. Let us try our best and hope positive.