5 Aug : The Department of Posts has undertaken IT modernization project under XI Five Year Plan for expansion of Computer networking. Till 31-03-2010, 12604 Post Offices have been computerized in the country. The Department has submitted a proposal for approval of IT Project to computerize all Post Offices including all the rural Post Offices along with development of integrated modular software for all services and operations to be completed by September, 2012. The proposal has been recommended by the Expenditure Finance Committee and is under the process of obtaining administrative approval from the Competent Authority.
The Gramin Dak Sevaks, are employed in rural areas where there is no justification for opening of full time Departmental Post offices. They work for limited hours ranging from 3 to 5 hours of duty and their allowances are fixed depending upon the workload based on standards. They are governed by a separate set of Conduct and Employment Rules which are non-statutory in nature. The CCS(Pension) Rules, 1972 are not applicable to these categories of officials.
However, One-man Committee constituted by the Government has recommended introduction of Service Discharge Benefit Scheme on contribution basis under Annuity Scheme. The Department has formulated a proposal in consultation with Pension Fund Regulatory Development Authority(PFRDA) which has been approved by the Nodal Ministry, i.e. Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance. Orders for payment of arrears of revision of pay in respect of Departmental officials and Time Related Continuity Allowance(TRCA) for Gramin Deak Sevaks have been issued. The arrears have also been paid.
As on 31.03.2010, 138889 villages were having post offices out of the total number of 620515 inhabited villages in the country. However, all inhabited villages have access to Postal facilities.
There is no such report either from the Comptroller and Auditor General of India or Parliamentary Committee expressing their utter dissatisfaction over the working of the Department of Posts. However, the Department is running in a deficit. During 2009-10, the Department recorded a deficit of Rs.6634.38 crores. The deficit for the current financial year will be ascertained only at the close of the year.
This information was given by the Minister of State for Communication Information Technology Shri Gurudas Kamat in Rajya Sabha today.