Revenue deficit of the Department of Post (DoP) widened to Rs 8,670 crore in the April-December period of this financial year, but various initiatives including passport facility and other government services through post are expected to rake in more revenue.
The DoP had registered a revenue deficit of Rs 6,007 crore in the fiscal year 2015-16, according to the data shared by Communications Minister Manoj Sinha.
The revenue deficit of the postal department was Rs 5,473 crore in 2013-14 which increased to Rs 6,259 crore in 2014-15 and then narrowed to Rs 6,007 crore in 2015-16.
Total revenue of the DoP was Rs 9,307 crore at the end of December 2016. The department registered revenue of Rs 10,730 crore in 2013-14, Rs 11,636 crore in 2014-15 and Rs 12,940 crore in 2015-16.
Sinha said that various measures have been taken by the department to boost its revenue.
"Railway tickets are being sold through post offices under an agreement signed with the Ministry of Railways. Presently, this service is available in over 340 post offices across India. Around 70 Post Shoppes have been opened with total revenue generated around Rs 60 lakhs," Sinha said.
He said that Government of India has introduced Sovereign Gold Bond scheme (SGB) in the Union Budget 2015-16.
"During the six tranches issued in last and current financial year, 96,215 Sovereign Gold Bond applications for around Rs 80 crore were collected through Post Offices across the country," Sinha said.
He mentioned distribution of sourcing of Gangajal from Gangotri and Rishikesh through Post Offices as well as online through 'e-Post Office' has commenced.
"In order to extend passport services to our citizens on a larger scale and to ensure wider area coverage, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and the DOP have now agreed to utilise the Head Post Offices in the various states as Post Office Passport Seva Kendra (POPSK) for delivering passport related services to the citizens," Sinha said.
He said the pilot project for this joint venture between MEA and DOP has commenced from January 25, 2017, at Metagalli Post Office, Mysore in Karnataka and at Dahod Head Post Office in Gujarat.
"Technology induction leading to customer friendly initiatives such as premium due alerts etc. In sum, all these above initiatives would go a long way to fetch more business and generate more revenue," Sinha said.