New Delhi: The good old ‘money order’ is headed for a complete makeover. Rather than scrapping them altogether as intially planned, the Department of Posts under the Ministry of IT & Communication has at last decided to adopt state-of-the-art printing technology to come up with new postal orders of Rs 10, Rs 20, Rs 50 and Rs 100 denomination.
In response to a query filed by RTI activist Subhash Chandra Agrawal, the Department recently revealed that a new Indian Postal Order design in these denominations has been approved and an order placed with the Security Printing Press, Hyderabad.
As for the Money Order Service, which is facing stiff competition now from online transfers and various bank schemes, the Department of Posts said there is no plan to discontinue it. “Time to time, review of all the postal services is being carried out.”
Responding to the developments, Mr Agrawal said the Central Information Commission had taken note of the “obsolete-style and outdated printing” aspects of existing postal orders and recommended they be improved.
Calling for better financial models in operating postal services, he said: “It is shocking that the Postal Department has failed to revise postal-commission as printed on postal-orders apart from continuing with the age-old practice of specifying the `post-office where payable’ in an era when multi-city clearing should make postal-orders payable at par at all post-offices without mention of a specific post-office where they can be cashed.”
Sticking to such age-old practices make the s handling of a postal-order even costlier, he said, noting that the handling cost already comes to Rs 37.45.
The RTI activist has also been asking for special RTI stamps as these would save hundreds of crores of rupees involved in handling the large number of postal orders currently used for payment of RTI fees and copying charges under the RTI Act. “Then postal-orders can be in minimum denominations of Rs 50 with higher denominations of rupees 200, 500 and 1000 added. It is a waste of tax-payers’ money to continue postal-orders in small and unused denominations like Rs 1, 2, 5, 7, as also Rs 10 and 20,” he said.