‘Reduction in service charges costing Pakistan Post’


The reduction in service charges on the gross sale of savings schemes is aggravating financial problems for the Postal Services, the Ministry of Postal Services told the National Assembly Standing Committee on Postal Services on Friday, asking it to direct the Ministry of Finance to reverse the decision.
The committee meeting, which met with Pir Aslam Bodla MNA in chair, was held to discuss the reduction in commission for postal services. Ministry of Postal Services Secretary Muhammad Ikramul Haq told the committee that the Ministry of Finance had reduced its service charges from 1.5 percent to 0.5 percent in 2009-10. He said that prior to the reduction, the annual profit of postal services was Rs 2.118 billion which had reduced to Rs 1.4 billion. He said the Postal Services Department was facing financial difficulties due to the reduction in service charges.
Meanwhile, a Ministry of Finance representative told the committee that the provisional rate of 1.5 percent for Pakistan Post Office Department on the gross sale of saving schemes was subject to the actual cost of operations for National Saving Schemes. He further added that all commercial banks were also charging 0.5 percent commission on the gross sale of saving schemes.
National Saving Scheme Director General Zafar Shaikh told the committee that Postal Services neither provide his organisation details of the sales not got gross sales audited. He said some regional centers of Postal Services had claimed to have earned Rs 113 billion whereas Pakistan Post Headquarters Office claimed to have earned Rs 83 billion, later increasing the amount to Rs 114 billion. He said the real worth of the National Saving Scheme was Rs 119 billion.
The committee deferred the issue for the next meeting since both ministries showed no flexibility in their stance. The meeting was attended by Sher Muhammad Baloch MNA, Dr Abdul Kadir Khanzada MNA, Gul Muhammad Jakhrani MNA, Begum Nuzhat Sadiq MNA, Shakeela Khanam Rashid MNA, Fauzia Ijaz Khan MNA, Dr Nelson Azeem MNA, Raja Asad Khan MNA and Molvi Agha Muhammad MNA.