Union Minister for Communication and IT, Ravi Shankar Prasad said on Thursday that NDA Government’s initiative to digitalize functioning would help in making e-commerce reach every corner. He said the initiative would further enhance India posts reach as national carrier. The Minister also highlighted that the Government’s ‘Digital India Project’ was working to bring the internet and broadband to the remotest corners of the country giving further boost to the growing e-commerce market. Department of Posts, with its largest postal network in the world is the biggest potential partner to the e-commerce companies being the only last mile logistics handler across the country.
Speaking at the meeting of the Parliamentary Consultative Committee attached to the Ministry of Communications& IT, on the e-Commerce initiatives of the Department of Posts, he said that various steps taken by the Department of Posts for gearing up its capabilities for handling e-Commerce parcel business as well as introducing services such as Cash on Delivery which have completely revolutionized the e-commerce business in India. The Department had handled COD value worth Rs. 500 crores up to March 2015 which has now crossed Rs. 1000 crores till December 2015 and is expected to reach around Rs. 1500 crores by the end of the current financial year.
The Minister shared with the Committee that one of his prime agenda was to bring about a change in the post office operations so that it can play a larger role in providing accessibility of products and services to the door step of each and every individual across the country. With the IT Modernization Project in an advanced stage of implementation, Department of Posts is well set to redefine its operations to tap the e-commerce industry. This is not only going to further augment its revenue but it will also play a larger role in connecting India more comprehensively by reaching out to the door step of the consumers across the country, thereby bridging the Digital and urban rural divide in terms of availability of products.
The Department had set up 48new Parcel Processing Centers so far and 9 more such centers are coming up during the current financial year. These efforts in the last eighteen months have resulted in an overall revenue growth in the parcel segment by 45% during 2014-15 and more than 100% in the current financial year. Similarly, Speed Post, the flagship product of the Department also has premium parcel component which has registered a growth of 12.5% in the current financial year as against 8.9% last year giving overall revenue of more than Rs 1100 crores to the Department in the current year so far. Business from major e-commerce companies are growing. Amazon India booking has increased from average 50,000 articles per month last year to 3 lakhs articles per month in the current year and so is the case of other players like Flipkart, Myntra etc. where the bookings have increased from 15,000 per month to 30,000-50,000 per month.
The members of the Consultative Committee appreciated the steps taken by the Department of Posts and complimented on its efforts to bring rural India into the e-commerce mainstream as well as enhancing its revenues through parcel and Speed Post business.
The meeting was attended by the Hon’ble Members of Parliament, Sh Nepal Singh, Sh Raj Babbar, Sh Bhola Singh, Sh Arvind Ganpat Sawant, Smt Ranjanben Bhatt and Sh K Gopal The Hon’ble Members suggested that the Post Offices should not only enhance their visibility but should also become the rural centers for providing computer and internet facilities to the youth. Similarly, the Post Shoppes’ opened by the Department should be expanded and they should also retail telecom SIM and top-up cards.