The Indian government is bringing significant changes to the way post offices function 125 years after the enactment of the current act, the India Post Office Act, 1898. In this podcast, Shishir Sinha and V Nivedita discuss the nuances of Post Office Bill, 2023. 

The government’s rationale behind bringing in a bill to regulate post offices is that the nature of the kind of businesses the post offices do has evolved significantly. The current act is from the colonial era. The key amendments in the new bill include the power to intercept, open, or detain parcels suspected of carrying illegal items in the interest of national security. It also has new regulations in place for payments of duties and recovering unpaid amounts. The bill also exempts the post office and its officers from liability for losses, delays, or damages incurred during their services. The bill designates the post office as the exclusive entity for issuing postage stamps. 

While these changes aim to enhance the efficiency and security of postal services, critics are concerned about potential violations of the right to privacy and freedom of expression. The government has assured that subsequent rules and regulations will address these apprehensions. Tune in to the podcast now.