Kathmandu, September 14
The Postal Services Department spends nearly all of its annual budget of Rs 3.5 billion paying its 20,000 odd employees, 60 per cent of whom work for merely a couple of hours a day.
According to PSD sources, 96 per cent of the budget is spent on salary of employees. Of the remaining Rs 845 million, 26 per cent goes for the remuneration of 10,000 contractual employees working for outposts known as Additional Postal Service.
The workers are responsible for collecting and delivering letters and documents from District Postal Service to Additional Postal Service and the public.
These contractual employees are required to work for about two flexible hours a day. On an average, they draw a salary of Rs 6,500 per month.
While the civil servants retire at 58 years of age, some of those working on contract basis are septuagenarians, according to PSD officials. Additional Postal Service apart from these contractual employees has a minimum of three permanent employees.
The PSD is plagued with a significant number of inefficient employees, according to PSD director Rajan Paudel. “Most of them even lack basic computer skills, or the zeal to acquire new skills,” he said. PSD, according to him, is overstaffed. “PSD needs just about a quarter of its current staff to run smoothly.” There are 444 employees posted at General Post Office, Kathmandu.
Keshab Pandey, who has been working for the last 22 years as a postman, says that the advancement of information technology have reduced their workload. The postal service is now largely limited to exchanging governmental files and electronically conducted Express Mail Service.
Despite reduced workload, efficiency of employees has not increased, according to the Nirmala Thapa, information officer at GPO, Kathmandu. She said the office needed more efficient employees.
“Although we have 444 employees, we efficient manpower. The older employees can’t operate computers and this has posed a difficulty in upgrading our services,” she said.
A version of this article appears in print on September 15, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.