Budgetary deficit to fall below Rs 1,000 crore for the first time

Our Bureau

New Delhi, May 31

The Department of Post (DoP) is expecting to earn revenues of Rs 500 crore from executing its agreement with the private cellular operators for verifying subscriber details prior to giving them a connection. This new project along with the success of its financial products and services is expected to bring down the postal deficit to below the Rs 1,000-crore mark for the first time. The DoP has been finding ways to reduce the budgetary deficit from the current level of Rs 1,400 crore.

The postal department has offered to do the verification of the subscribers at the rate of Rs 25 per application. This comes after the private operators approached the DoP to use the postal network in order to verify the details given by consumers before offering a mobile connection. The Government had hauled up the operators for not conducting the verification as per laid procedures. Until now most cellular operators had outsourced the job to local agencies.

Speaking at a press conference to announce a new service Dr U. Srinivasa Raghavan, Secretary, DoP, said, "Our deficit is expected to be Rs 989 crore during 2005-06 at an estimated revenue of Rs 5,400 crore. This is a significant development and we hope to improve our financial position further in years to come." DoP has also initiated discussions with the mobile operators to sell mobile recharge card through the post offices on a commission basis.

DoP on Wednesday introduced a premium Speed Post service in six metro cities on a trial basis, which promises to deliver articles by noon the next day.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated June 1, 2006)
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