Wednesday, March 26, 2014


No : AU/A-3/PLI-RPLI/ Dated 24th March,2014.

    Ms. P. Gopinath                        
    Department of Posts,
    & Chairman,
    Postal Services Board,
    Dak Bhawan, Sansad Marg,
    New Delhi-110001.

                 Sub :- Request for Centralization of PLI-RPLI works in COs, 
                         ROs & O/O the DPLI.

Respected Madam,

                 This has the reference to this Union’s letter of even no. Dated 14th March, 2014 along with the previous letters dated 19-08-2013 & 19-11-2013.

          It is really surprising that in the Directorate of Postal Life Insurance letter no. 30-1/2013-LI Dated 07-01-2014, the following information have been revealed.

            (a) M/S Infosys has not yet completed “Developing Software for PLI-RPLI” and they have been doing the work of “Development of software for PLI-RPLI” after M/S Infosys’s bid in response to RFP floated by PMU Division of Postal Directorate was accepted to.

          (b) Further changes in POLI Rules, 2011 in view of setting up of CPC at HPO level instead of Division, has not yet been completed and is in process.

        (c)“Post Offices are well known location to the public whereas general awareness about CO/RO is comparatively lesser”.

       (d) In RFP, need of setting up approximately 1000 CPCs was mentioned co-located at HOs.

                All these revealations indicate that PLI Directorate is in a hurry for violating the agreement with the staff side where Postal Directorate was involved.

        Further in Request for Proposal(RFP), need of setting up approximately 1000 CPCs may be the parameter for M/S Infosys only, but what bindings we are having to fulfill their parameters where thousand of crores of Rupees are involved? What is the profit of M/S Infosys should not be the area of concern for the Department of Posts.

                We strongly oppose the whole idea of decentralization, as we feel, it will be a huge wastage of our hard earned money and urges for centralization of PLI/RPLI works in Circle Administrative Offices including the office of the Director, PLI. Central Processing Centre should not function in the Head Post Offices for the following reasons.

(2) Comparative study in the light of Staffing Pattern and         
       Infrastructure when H.O is CPC 

             As per order of the PLI Directorate, each HO will have the below mentioned composition :-
1. Postal Assistants = Two
2. System Administrator = One
3. Multi Tasking Staff = One

                    Apart from the staffing pattern, the following infrastructure would also be required in every HO i.e, in 809 HOs in India.
1. LAN Cabling
2. One Router
4. Accommodation for the CPC
5. Additional accommodation of PLI/RPLI records
6. Additional furniture

                    In addition to above, the Head Post Offices will have to have facilities of drawing account with any lead Bank like SBI etc and will function for paying and receiving money to /from the Insurant.
                   The alternate model which we do suggest will be as follows:-

          1. All CPCs of the Head Post Offices can be located at Circle Office, PLI Section on the virtual office.

          2. CPCs at Circle/Regional offices will have the advantage of providing services to the insurants under one roof.

          3. Instead of having hundreds and hundreds of Postal Assistants & Administrators throughout the country and proposal for Diversion  of 809 posts of PAs/Supervisors from PLI Section of COs and DPLI, Kolkata to Central Processing Centres involving HUGE EXPENDITURE FOR MEN POWER AND MATERIALS AND INFRASTRUCTURE BUILDING, we may require lesser number of Postal Assistants and system Administrators,  if C.O/R.O is CPC.

         4. We may require lesser no. of Multi Tasking Staff.

         5. The existing LAN facilities at CO/RO, PLI of different Circles can be utilized effectively.

         6. Only few routers at COs, PLI of different Circles may be enough.

         7. The expertise knowledge of Circle/Regional Office Staff, can be put to maximum/optimum utilization.

         8. The DDMs and ADMs will be available in the same location.

         9. The AAO who plays an important role will be available in COs/ROs only. Thus their opinion and authority over financial matters will be of immense help to avoid fraudulent activities.

    10. Circle Office, PLI Branch which has a separate reasonable establishment of staff carved out of Circle Office pool, Customers Care Centre and Supervisors, System Manager, AAO and DDM/ADM with experienced personnel at the base level of Circle Office and who are thus full time specialists available with dedicated Telephone lines to serve our valued Insurance Customers, cannot be matched or compared with just emerging concepts of Insurance Business in HOs. So, if centralized on the above lines, the services will be nearer to the insurants in real sense and savings in expenditure may be summarized as follows :

1. Fewer/Lesser System Administrators
2. Fewer/Lesser no. of Postal Assistants & MTS
3. No additional infrastructure
4. Existing accommodation may be utilized
5. Training of Head Post Offices and Divisional Offices staff, may not be      required. 

                 Most Striking Administrative Reasons

1. If CPCs will function at 809 HOs, there will be no effective monitoring

2. Few Divisional Heads and Postmasters are active and others may be        inactive. Ultimately, customers will suffer.

3. When every thing will be “On Line” in that case, from any Postal         
    Outlet, CPC at COs & ROs, will be well connected and purpose of CPC     will be centrally achieved, but for PLI where no. of policies are much       less in comparison to POSB Accounts, then what is the need of Head       office wise CPC ? Centralized CPC will be economical , cost effective       and well maintained and there will be minimum burden on public          
Redefining the Role of the office of the Director, Postal Life Insurance.

Following works should be entrusted to DPLI Office

1. Insurance related Research & Development works may require 25 personnel.
2. Product Designing work which may require 15 personnel.
3. Publicity Design work – which may require 15 personnel. 
4. DPLI Office may functioning as “National Grievance Redressed Centre  - which will be managed by another set of 25 personnel.
5. DPLI Office may function to determine mortality rate & Bonus declaration in every year involving 25 personnel.
6. To work as National Audit Office in respect of PLI/RPLI business which will involve 250 personnel. 

Thus, with the above mentioned items of work with Internet experienced skills and efficiency and with 355 personnel, DPLI can effectively discharge its role in the changed scenario. 

In respect of PLI policies, number of life policies is 52,19,326 and in respect of RPLI the total number of Life Policies stands at 1,46,64,650. That means Department of Posts is having less than 2 Crores of Policies throughout the country ,whereas the following items in respect of POSB accounts and Savings Certificates need to be considered from practical point of view:-  

1.  Approx. number of POSB live accounts in India is 28 Crores.

2.  Yearly Sale of cash certificates in India is 4.9 Crores. For such huge number of POSB accounts and Cash certificates totaling more than 32 Crores, there is only One Circle Processing Centre in each of the 22 Postal Circles. For hardware supplied @ 20 Nodes per circle, is the parameter. So, total requirement per circle in respect of Nodes comes to 20 personnels and thus for 22 circles , 440 Nodes, that means 440 personnels are required to manage 28 Crores of POSB live accounts and 4.9 Crores of cash certificates throughout the country .Whereas for PLI /RPLI “CPC functioning manpower requirement is more than 809“which can easily be minimized to an appreciable number ,if the  22 C.Os and 37  R.O offices function  as CPCs and in that case with the help of DPLI office ,steady growth of PLI business can be well maintained by utilizing the stable infrastructure with a bare minimum expenditure and skilled work force with expertise knowledge.

  3.  It is really very surprising when PLI directorate in its letter 30- 1/2013- LI   dated  7.01.2014  at serial  number  3 stated “Post   offices  are  well  known  location  to  the public  whereas  general awareness about CO/RO is comparatively lesser “. Is it an acceptable logic that the office of the Head of the Circles and Regional Heads are located at less brighter areas than the H.Os, when factually, C.O / R.O’s are located at the metropolitan / big cities? 

   4.  (a) Further, PLI directorate at serial no. 3 stated “Further in RFP, need of setting up approx. 1000 CPCs was mentioned  co- located at H.O’s. Hence, CPCs are to be set up at H.Os” This opinion is also surprising as a private organization should not formulate our internal requirement without going into the depth of our problem. In the face of Core Banking Network for 28 Crores of live accounts and 4.9 Crores cash certificates, only 22 CPCs are the requirement as suggested by another private organization.

(b) Moreover, PLI Dte’s observation at Serial no. 3 is that “ Post offices are well known location to the public whereas General Awareness of COs & ROs are comparatively lesser,” which is startling  and surprising. It gives rise to the impression that PLI Dte. is delinked from the knowledge of base level working in respect of PLI/RPLI. For PLI/RPLI works, insurants were utilizing the services of the D.O/A.F.Os/F.Os since long, even now and thereafter, whether in centralized set-up or even at the present decentralized setup or even in CPC concepts. Location of a post office is only essential to the public for paying premium according to their place of convenience  (residence  or  working  place).  Number  of post offices throughout the country is 1,54,822 or more, whereas the present scheme for CPC will be in 809 H.Os only and naturally the assertion of PLI Dte. to equate the meager no. of 809 H.Os with the colossal   figure   of 1,54,822   P.Os,   is  simply  not  only irrelevant, but also devoid of the basic ideas at the grass root level of PLI functioning. Moreover, total number of villages in India as per census of India 2010 is 6,40,867 and that of towns is 7,935. Taking towns and villages, we required to serve 6,48,802 places, whereas we are having 1,54,822 post offices and we are still to open our network in the vast areas of 4,93,980 places. So , “ reaching nearer to the customer” and “to provide service centre near to the insurant’s residence location’’ – merely be the slogans of the Postal Life Insurance Directorate but it would never be the reality.

(c) In case of less than 2 Crores ( increased from time to time )of PLI/RPLI policies, almost 95% of the total work load of the insurants were entrusted with the C.O/R.Os from acceptance to maturity of PLI/RPLI policies for more than 100 years.

  5.  “All PLI/RPLI policies are already mapped to H.Os “- PLI directorate acknowledged. But it is also the fact that since July, 2011 to January, 2013, all such policies were mapped to Divisions and then re-mapped to H.Os since February, 2013. So definitely PLI/RPLI policies may be re-mapped to C.Os/R.Os, if it is felt justified. If the CPCs are being setup at C.O/R.O level ,CPCs will function under the direct supervision of Chief P.M.G/ DPS (HQ) whereas in PLI/RPLI  CPCs is going to be setup in each HPOs , total number of HPOs being 809, 2 Nodes, Fax, Telephone connectivity and Manpower for 809 HPOs will be minimum of 2427 PAs including system administrators and there will be no direct supervision of Ch.P.M.G/PMG/DPS.

   6. In case of CPCs at HOs all insurance related activities will be left to the mercy of Postal Assistants only.

   7.Moreover, in a recent development PLI Dte. in its letter bearing no. 29-05/2009-LI dated 3.03.2014 addressed to All Heads of Circles and office of DPLI, has supplied an information exhibiting sanctioned and vacant posts in PA/Supervisory and DO (PLI) cadres complied on the basis of Circles’ report and asked the Circles/DPLI to intimate the date from which the posts are lying vacant with year wise breakup by 7.03.2014.

The subject of the letter indicates that the same is regarding proposal of diversion of 809 posts of PAs/Supervisors from PLI section of Circle Administrative Offices of the country and DPLI office, Kolkata to CPCs located at HPOs.

Eventually, this will create another mess, as it will involve almost all the Circle Administrative Offices throughout the country which have already been suffering from shortage of staff. Thus such unnecessary, repeated and mindless exercises without any consultation with the staff side will create instability and disorder in all Circle Offices, of the country as, in the mean time due to PLI Dte.’s order bearing number 25-12/2008-PE-1 dated 19.11.2012 more than 250 posts of PACO & PARO was ordered to be abolished and was finally abolished recently.

Madam,We have explained again and again that once we had 1.29 lakh policies in 1954/1955 and now we have reached to 2 Crores of Policies in respect of PLI/RPLI and an amount of 21,000 Crores was earned n respect of PLI/RPLI business which was received from Ministry of Finance as Net Corpus in November, 2009.

You may kindly appreciate that the above mentioned facts are indicative of the immense contribution made by the C.O/R.Os and DPLI office staff during almost 6 decades of untiring service for steady development of PLI/RPLI business with all hazards like shortage of staff, lesser remuneration in the form of incentive. Even then, workers were happy and pulled up the work as they were treated well. Productivity enhanced and definitely the importance of a sense of well being in the work place always prevailed upon the Circle Administrative Office Staff as they have spent a substantial fraction of their life at the work place and some of them still function as Field Officers (PLI) as the happy memory of the work spots, spills over very strongly into the rest of their lives. But unfortunately ,now we are being kicked out of the main stream of PLI/RPLI business in spite of our long dedicated service through our sustained efforts. This is very painful for us, as it reminds us of a rare Indian family where children kick out their parents after being brought up and firmly established in the society. The enshrined goal under the project “India Posts 2012” is to transform the Department of Posts into a “technology enabled, self-reliant market leader” . In this connection our humble submission is the quotation of the great
writer  and  noble  laureate  in  Economics  in 2001 and Chief Economist of World Bank- Joseph E  Stiglitz  “ While the goals of markets are narrow- they are concerned with material well being, and not with broader values like social justice- unfettered markets often failed to achieve even these limited objectives”

Our apprehension is, that too much dependence on market and to become technology enabled, self reliant market leader, we should not forget our duty on behalf of India Posts towards broader values like Social Justice which we practiced since long and still practicing it. Another apprehension is that due to frequent fluctuations in taking decisions and with the new decentralized structure, we should not be burnt at the stake from the field of insurance business and pave the way for private players.

Now, Directorate can take a call for determining which proposal will be more economical and better monitored and better controlled. If it is centralized at the circle level like POSB/Cash certificate, expenditure will be much and much less and requirement of manpower will also be less. Administration and Monitoring of CPC will be much better and there will be lesser probability of public grievance which are most important factors in these days of highly competitive and volatile market.
      We are eagerly waiting for a positive decision.

      With respectful regards.

                                                      Yours faithfully

(Pranab Bhattacharjee)
                                                      General Secretary

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