ANI Photo | “No question of privatisation of post offices…”: Ashwini Vaishnaw in Rajya Sabha

The government has no intention to privatise post offices and the Post Office Bill also does not have any such provisions, Communications, Electronics and Information Technology, Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said in Rajya Sabha on Monday.
The House passed the Post Office Bill,2023 after a reply from the minister to the debate.
Several opposition members expressed apprehensions that the central government was moving in the direction of privatising the post office network.
“There is no question of privatization of post offices. We have very categorically said, and now I am again saying on the floor of the House, that the Bill has no provision for the privatisation of our post offices. Nor do we have any intention,” the minister said.
He reiterated that the Bill has been brought in to widen the services that are provided by the post offices, beyond its core domain.
He apprised the House how the post offices are providing people options for parking their hard-earned money in the form of post office savings, Mahila Samman Savings Certificate, and Sukanya Yojana, among others.
On points raised about possible interceptions of parcels, the minister said the provision was kept for requirements of national security.
“Interception is something which has been there in the previous Bill for ages and the procedure is also very well established. As and when we frame the rules, they will be laid before the Parliament and the procedure for interception will be introduced to the rules,” he said.
It will be fair and transparent and there is nothing to worry about, he added.
The Bill states that the Central Government may, by notification, empower any officer to intercept, open or detain “any item in the interest of the security of the State, friendly relations with foreign states, public order, emergency, or public safety or upon the occurrence of any contravention of any of the provisions of any law for the time being in force”.
He rejected allegations that the Modi government did not provide enough employment in the postal services department.
He accused the Congress-led UPA government of having closed some post offices and said the Modi government had opened thousands of new post offices and more are in the offing.
The Bill that was passed by the Upper House on Monday will repeal the Indian Post Office Act, of 1898 and seeks to consolidate and amend the law relating to the post offices in India

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