India Post, which is reinventing itself in the changing times, will offer air parcel services within a fortnight from now.
Postmaster-General for South Karnataka region Vasumitra told presspersons here on Saturday that India Post would handle air parcels weighing one kg and above. The department was already offering air cargo services to the four metros from Bangalore under the scheme Logistics Post which allowed trans-shipment of consignments weighing more than 25 kg.
Mr. Vasumitra, who was here to launch the Arrow Project at the Mangalore Head Post office, said India Post would also introduce flat-rate boxes in order to make sending smaller consignments by air easier. He said a one-kg box would typically cost Rs. 1,000 while a five kg box might cost Rs. 2,500. There would be a 2.5 kg box as well. He said they hoped to make the despatch of parcels easier and people would be able to put any allowable material and just send it across without any hassles.
Although flowers and fish products were yet to be sent by air cargo facility, he said India Post officials would look into this aspect. He said Logistics Post parcels could be booked from Mangalore too, but they would be treated as surface cargo up to Bangalore. India Post, which had two aircraft now, was purchasing more, he added.
Mr. Vasumitra said India Post may offer debit cards to its accountholders in most post offices by March 2011. To begin with, they would be offered in eight post offices across Karnataka in the current financial year. The facility would be extended to all other post offices in the circle in the next fiscal. This would be consequent to core-banking facilities that were being introduced in a phased manner. The Postal Department had already studied two software packages that were being used by banks. Meanwhile, the groundwork such as data entry was on, he added. A technology partner had been identified for provision of core-banking infrastructure, he said.
Mr. Vasumitra said the department was also looking for the right bridge software to provide people with an online bill payment option. The software used by the service-providers and that used by the bill-receiving agency should be compatible, he said.
The official said Postal Life Insurance was doing well in the market as it provided bonus rates that were much higher than others. It had launched rural postal insurance and had branched off into accidental and health insurance following a tie-up with The Oriental Insurance Company Ltd.