Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Scams, Scandals …... & Postal

This is an era of scams and scandals. Hidden skeletons are now rolling down from the cupboard now and then and the UPA II is now shunned with shame for the rampant corruptions like 2G, Coalgate, sports etc. Because of allowing FDI, disinvestment, Entertaining Public Private Partnership, Privatization Policies adopted in the Government Sectors, the preference and favoritism followed by kick packs are now coming out in new dimensions.

In spite of shiftingfrom the globalization policies by many western countries and attempting to -revert back to state oriented services in the recent days;the Government is advancing with the outdated policies without minding the opposition and lost its foresight.

In Postal, Hon’ble Minister has announced the New Postal Policy 2012 intending to unbundle the present rights of the Postaland end the monopoly. The tender Notification Placed on Indiapost Website for inviting Expression of Interest from experienced and reputed consultancy firms for providing comprehensive consultancy on Detailed Model Concession Agreement for Commercial Development and Management of Vacant Postal Lands under PPP mode Project exhibits the mood to lease out the postal land and other activities leading to disinvestment and privatization. It cannot be ruled out of one more scam in Postal in the future.

We cannot forget the centralized supply of computers and Generators to post offices without any invoice or brought into stock during the 1990s which was not unearthed properly at that time.The information’s we collected under the RTI showsthat how the pumpkin was hidden in the food served. Similarly, there were many types of lootsand booty’s while carrying out the works under the Project Arrow. The information we collected under RTI exhibits that the same buildings were identified under all the three schemes and no major repairs and replacements except changing tiles and carrying out the colour wash.

Postal Accounts, even though it was declared under the organized accounts cadre under CAG,the entire administrative powers like Director of Postal Accounts etc are in the hands of senior administrative officers resulting the postal accounts is now confined its work related to only accounts and not the auditing work.Nowadays, the postal accounts are also raising objections only on flimsy items against staff on their pay fixation, drawal of bills etc. and not objecting the serious financial irregularities purported by the officers.

Is there any check being carried out in the business products? By whom? Whether all the business activities and the expenditure made for them are properly audited. For Videshi Mo, the software was purchased in some crore. The revenue earned so far is lesser than Rs, 20000. The air freighter engaged for carrying mails resulted in heavy loss. The AMPC now installed in Kolkatta is capable of sorting only 28% of mails. The electricity charges paid last month has exceeded sixteen lakhs. The loss due to the non - realization of BNPL accounts has not been cared.

Earlier all staff cars were maintained by the MMS and the expenditure was very minimum. The officers started engaging rented car for the minimum rent of Rs.30000 per month and in many circles the number of cars engaged exceed four or five. The rent spent in two years may pave revenue to purchase the same cars. But it seems no objections by any DPA or Internal Finance.

The poor postmasters cannot purchase any urgent materials for more than Rs.25 which is not even sufficient to attend the faults in the socket pin orin computers and they have forced to depend upon for everything to the divisional superintendent. The demand to increase their financial powers is not considered. But the officer’s financial powers had been increased manifold. Beyond their powers there were many expenses. Whether the Postal Accounts is checking the NPC vouchers regularly seeing whether there is any wasteful expenditure or payment beyond the financial powers and raising objections?  

There are frequent melas or meets organised. Just to make a tour to all the Directors, there was a meet in Madurai and lakhs of rupees were spent. All were exceeding the financial powers. The bills were charged in different divisions on different accounts. When informations under RTI were sought, there is no correct information because of the split of expenditures in different divisions. Is it not the duty of the Accounts to detect and raise objections? Not possible. They are not having freedom; because they are working under the DPS.

We could point out many such financial irregularities and misuse of powers in many quarters. But what we expect that the Postal accounts and audits should function independently like CAG and point out the scams and irregularities taking place even on today in the department right from the divisions to Directorate to curb the corruptions and scams. Let us think deeply to demand such thing also by the trade unions.

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