Revive the post | Political economics

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At the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, when all established supply chain infrastructure around the world was affected, the Post has always found a way to continue providing services to people and communities.

It is the innovative capacity of postal systems and their resilience in the service of the public that deserve to be highlighted. New social and economic services have emerged over time and electronic commerce has developed in many parts of the world. In many countries and territories, postal services have been involved in last mile vaccine delivery using complex cold storage methods, providing platforms for booking vaccinations and even providing space for centers. vaccination. This proves that a system that many might have considered redundant can still be used effectively. Innovation promotes solutions that change life; so why not make an effort to maintain an established system that can still serve a purpose.

In order to raise awareness of the role of the Post and its contribution to global social and economic development, World Post Day was declared in 1969 by the Tokyo Universal Postal Congress to mark the anniversary of the founding of the Post Office. Universal Postal Union (UPU). in 1874.

The Universal Postal Union, established by the Treaty of Berne, is now a specialized agency of the United Nations that coordinates postal policies among member countries, in addition to the global postal system. The main objective of the UPU is to stimulate the sustainable development of efficient and accessible quality universal postal services and to guarantee the interconnection of networks. With 192 member countries, the UPU is the leading forum for cooperation between players in the postal sector. It helps ensure a truly universal network of up-to-date products and services. With a network comprising more than 650,000 offices and 5.3 million employees worldwide, and a public service mandate from many governments, the Post is unparalleled in its ability to provide services to anyone, no anywhere.

Pakistan Post was established shortly after independence under the amended Postal Law VI, 1898, and became operational on August 14, 1947. It was under the Post and Telegraph Department of the Ministry of Communications. In November 1947, Pakistan joined the Universal Postal Union as the 89th member. In 1948, Pakistan Post issued its first postage stamps, a set of four stamps commemorating the country’s independence. In 1959, an All-up-Airmail system was introduced whereby all letters were transported by air between stations in an air network.

To raise awareness of the role of the post, its contribution to global social and economic development, World Post Day was declared in 1969 by the Universal Postal Congress in Tokyo as a way to mark the anniversary of the founding of the Universal Postal Union (UPU) in 1874.

Pakistan Post also provides a universal postal service network aligned with the Universal Postal Union (UPU) strategy for the safe and timely delivery of mail, money and materials at an affordable cost through the use of human resources, processes and technology for innovative product offerings.

As one of the oldest government departments, Pakistan Post emphasizes using new communication and information technologies to go beyond what is traditionally seen as its core business. It provides postal services to all corners of the country through a network of approximately 13,000 post offices and delivery services to approximately 20 million homes and business communities, serving over 50 million people, loyal to his motto of Khidmat – Diyanat-Amanat. In addition to its traditional role, Pakistan Post also performs agency functions on behalf of the federal and provincial governments, which include among others savings bank, postal life insurance, tax collection, debt collection. electricity, water, gas and telephone bills and the issuance of licenses. Pakistan Post plays a vital role in the economic and social development of Pakistan. It serves as the main agency for the government in the implementation of key policies.

Before 1840, the postal service was too expensive for most people. The cost of sending a single letter could reach the daily wage of one or more workers. Shipping costs were billed according to the number of sheets of paper used and the distance traveled. It was paid by the beneficiary. There was no envelope. The letters were simply folded and sealed with wax. There were no letter boxes, so letters had to be taken to a post office. If it was too expensive, the recipient could refuse delivery.

In 1830, James Chalmers, a bookseller and printer from Dundee, UK, first came up with the idea for prepaid gummed labels. The Penny Postage Bill was passed by Parliament in 1839, under which prepayment would become the norm. This new postal system became an instant success with a huge increase in the number of letter mailings, which generated profitable revenues. It should be mentioned here that radio, when it was introduced to the subcontinent in 1936, was placed under the administrative and supervisory control of the Post Office.

Letter writing is no longer a common practice, but its value was considerable until a few decades ago. It was a real literary affair. And people often sat down to write letters to family, friends, and others as needed. Having lost some of its functional significance, the post still serves as a link to the past. It also has the potential to be turned into a tool for the future.


The writer is an independent contributor


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