Snail mail losing out to e-mail?

Himalayan News Service

New Delhi, April 22:

India’s good old postal system, celebrating the 150th year of its operation, is facing losses for the last two years as it finds itself overtaken by the Internet and growing reliance by people on the private courier system. The volume of mails handled by the Department of Posts went down from 9,096 million in 2002-03 to 8,635.2 million in 2003-04, while only 11 of the 43 services it offered actually earned profits, the standing committee on IT said in its report tabled in parliament. Pointing out efficiency loss as the reason for the decline in mail volume, which accounts for 59 per cent of the revenue, the committee suggested steps to strengthen postal mechanism and close monitoring of processing and delivery of mails to improve its service. The committee, strangely, did not make any reference to the entry of several private courier services and advent of e-mail as reasons for decline in physical mail volume. Despite many of its services losing market share, Speed Post, the department’s premium mail service,

managed to increase its revenue from $17 million in 1997-98, the report noted.