Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Procedural delay cited for shortage of postal stamps

Dear Comrades,

Posting letters is becoming a costly affair with the post offices in the state suffering from an acute shortage of postal stamps of smaller denominations for the last few weeks.

Though most of the unions and employees in the branch post offices point to the recent employee strike called by postal employees from Central Region, Kochi, the authorities have something else to say.

According to the Chief Postmaster General, Kerala Circle, the shortage in the supply of stamps from the India Security Press (ISP), Nasik, is the cause.

“The employee strike is not affecting the stamp distribution process. This was a totally different issue. Stamps are issued to post offices by the Circle Stamp Depot (CSD) following the intents sent by them. The intents are sent according to the estimated requirement for each year. This year, when the estimate was given, the CSD suggested to divert the excess stamps remaining in each circle. The delay in this process is what resulted in the shortage,” said Shobha Koshy, Chief Post Master General of Kerala.

“The ISP has provided some stocks, but that was not enough. Anyway, the supplies have already started coming. Supplies from two circles have already come and three more are coming. Things will go back to normal by this weekend” she added.

The sub and branch post offices in the state are facing a shortage of stamps of all the denominations except that in the range between Rs 10 to Rs 50. The shortage is severe for stamps of the denominations Re 1, Rs 2 and Rs 5 that are much in demand.

This has put in trouble not just the public but the small-time publishers who send small magazines and periodicals via book post using stamps of smaller denominations. The postal authorities said that the shortage of stamps is an all-India phenomenon.

The range of denominations of excess stamps is different for each circle. So as per the CSD, the circles should exchange stamps that they found excess in their region. The demand in each region can be met in this way as per the CSD.

At the same time, the three-day-long postal employee strike in the Central region was called off on Friday bringing back the services in the state to normal.

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