Thursday, July 11, 2013

Department of Health & Family Welfare
No. 4-2/2006-C&P/CGHS (P) dated 9-7-2013


Sub: Merger of 19 Postal Dispensaries presently functioning in 12 CGHS covered cities with CGHS.

In pursuance of the decision taken by the Government on recommendations of Sixth pay Commission, the following 19 (nineteen) Postal Dispensaries presently functioning in 12 (twelve) CGHS covered cities, i.e. Ahmadabad (3), Bhopal(1), Bhubaneswar(1), Dehradun(1), Guwahati(2), Jaipur(2), Jammu(1), Jabalpur(1), Lucknow(3), Pune(2), Ranchi(1), and Shilong(1) are hereby merged with the Central Government healthy Scheme (CGHS).

2.       All serving employee and pensioners of Department of Posts (DoP) and Department of Telecom (DoT) who are residing/settled in the above 12 cities and are beneficiaries of the 19 Postal Dispensaries shall now be covered under CTGHS and the Postal Dispensaries shall be rechristened as CGTHS Wellness Centers, CGHS membership to the pensioners will be confined to those who are residing/ settled in these 12 cities only.

3.       In so far as the existing facilities and manpower in position in these 19 Postal Dispensaries are concerned, the merger shall be effective as per the following terms and conditions:-

A       All serving employees and pensioners of Department of Post (DoP) and Department of Telecom(DoT) shall have to abide by the CGHS rules and guidelines to become a member of the Scheme. They shall have to pay the requisite contribution as per the prevailing rates prescribed by the Ministry of health and Family Welfare/CGHS DoP and DoT will take necessary action to inform their employees and pensioners in this regard.

B.      All existing facilities and infrastructure like buildings, furniture and fixtures, equipments etc. will be taken over by CGHS on as is where is basis. The Department of Post shall handover the possession of the Postal Dispensaries accommodation to the Department of health and Family Welfare / CGHS will at a token rent of Rs 1/- per annum. In the case of rented accommodation., CGHS will pay the rent from the date of taking over of the dispensaries.

C.      All doctors of GDMO sub-cadre of CHS working in the above 19 dispensaries will be taken on roll off CGHS and they shall be placed under the administrative control of Department of health and Family Welfare/CGHS for all purposes.

D.      All employees (technical/non technical staff) along with the work allocated and posts they are currently holding in these 19 Postal Dispensaries shall be taken over by CGHS. Their seniority and other condition off service in CGHS shall be governed by the relevant instructions and guidelines issued by DoPT from time to time.

E.      All expenditure relating to these dispensaries including medicines, hospitalization and other reimbursable expenses ( of pensioners), salaries and other allowances to the Postal dispensary employees as a result of merger of these dispensaries shall be borne by CGHS from its own resources.

F.      Local Committees shall be constituted in the respective cities with representatives from both CGHS and Postal dispensaries to resolve all staffing and other local issues arising on account of the merger in consultation with nodal Ministries.

4.       These Orders shall be effective from 1st August, 2013.

5.       This issues with the concurrence of ministry of Finance, Department of Expenditure’s vide I.D No. 18(3)/E.V/2008 dated 06-03-2013.

(VP Singh)

Dy. Secretary to the Govt. of india

The Hindu People, especially in the rural areas, are already familiar with India Post; they may even be banking with it already.

Raghuvir Srinivasan

Raghuvir Srinivasan is fascinated by the complex interplay of free markets, regulation and government, and firmly believes in all three. He heads the business desk. Tweet him at @srirags.... »

By applying for a banking license, India Post has shown that it acknowledges the need for change. And with an extensive network that far surpasses other banks in the country, it is also poised to benefit the most with a license.

In the laundry list of applicants for new bank licenses, 26 in all, there is a surprise candidate rubbing shoulders with the Tatas, the Birlas and the Ambanis — the Department of Posts. Yes, get that raised brow of yours down, for if the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) approves its application, as well it might, your friendly neighbourhood post office will soon begin to offer banking services.

It is nice to see that India Post has chosen to evolve rather than be consigned to the dustbin of history. In a world where change is the only constant, businesses, as much as people, need to change with the times. Unless if they wish to end up with a ‘Kodak Moment’, that is! The legendary manufacturer of photo films, Eastman Kodak, whose name I first encountered in the title credits of a Hollywood movie as a kid in the eighties, went bankrupt last year. Its mistake? Failing to see the changing picture in the photography business which was going digital.

There are other famous examples of companies that failed to see the evolution in the market and landed in distress. Sony, which was riding the crest of the audio players business with its Walkman and Discman, failed to spot that music was moving to Mp3 from analog and from tapes into the internet. Sony also failed to take one Apple seriously as a competitor. Result: it lost the audio business to competition.

Nokia is another example. Once the second name for a mobile phone, Nokia is now playing a desperate game of catch-up with Samsung and Apple, having missed the smart phone evolution completely.

Why, India Post itself was laid low by the advent of electronic mail at the turn of the century. As email caught on and mobile telephony penetration deepened, people just stopped writing postcards or inland letters. I remember my days as a teenager in the mid-eighties when it was rather romantic to send a nice, long inland letter (yes, not the postcard which could be read by the whole world!) to your girlfriend. These days teenagers text cryptic messages on their mobile phones which, I should say, is rather unromantic. But that’s the subject for another blog.

The phase-out of telegrams from July 15 is another warning signal to India Post. It is only a question of time, a few more years, before physical letters and the ubiquitous post boxes, which I used to gaze at in wonderment as a kid, disappear. The other day, I roamed in vain around my locality for a stand-alone letter-box to show to my eight-year old. Ultimately, I had to take her to the post office to show the little red wonder that I used to stare at as a kid in every other street corner.

The point is that India Post has realised that it has to find other sources of revenue. In fact, it diversified into distributing mutual fund products more than a decade ago. Last month it announced plans to set up mechanized warehouses and a tie-up with Air India to transport parcels for ecommerce portals.

The decision to foray into commercial banking now is only an extension of its presence in financial services through the post office savings bank which is used by millions across the country. Apart from offering savings schemes with attractive interest rates, post office savings bank accounts can be used normally like any other bank account.

The name of the game in banking is an extensive branch network. And India Post is unbeatable in this with over 1.55 lakh post offices across the country, 90 per cent of them in rural areas. How many retail banks in the country can boast of such a network? The bank with the biggest network in India, SBI, has 14,816 branches; together with its associate banks the number will not exceed 20,000. Even if India Post were to convert just 10 per cent of its branches into banks, it will be larger than SBI.

And again, India Post is present in every district of the country unlike SBI or any other public sector bank. So, if the objective of issuing new bank licenses is improving financial inclusion as the government claims, then India Post should really be a frontrunner for a license. Given that it is a government department, the RBI should really not have any problems with the financial soundness of India Post.

People, especially in the rural areas, are already familiar with India Post; they may even be banking with it already. So winning credibility is not an issue unlike some of the other big names who are now jostling for a license.

All that would remain then is getting the right people on board to run a bank, putting it at arm’s length from the government and getting it well-capitalised. And lo and behold, we can have those little red contraptions back on street corners; only that this time you can swipe your cards there for cash rather than drop a secret inland letter to your girlfriend! I don’t know if India Post will get a license or when it will open its first bank branch, but it already has its first client: me!

Keywords: India Post, RBI, financial inclusion, ban