Advances in Regulatory Economics series
Edited by Michael A. Crew, Paul R. Kleindofer and James I. Campbell Jr
Chapter 24: India Post: An Agenda for Restructuring and Commercialization
* V. Ranganathan† 1. INTRODUCTION ‘You can think of India Post as an old fashioned network trapped in the bricks and mortars of a dying mail service; or you can think of it as an extraordinary human network that facilitates incredible access to virtually all Indians’, according to Mieko Nishimizu (2002), Vice President, South Asia Region of the World Bank. Both sides of this duality are evident in this brief survey of the current status and prospects for the reform of India Post. To understand India Post, one must begin by placing India itself in perspective. India is the seventh largest country in the world, having an area of about 3.3 million square kilometers. If one superimposes the map of India over that of Europe, India stretches from the Atlantic shore of France in the west to Ukraine in the east and from the Arctic islands of Scandinavia in the north to parts of North Africa in the south. India’s population of 1.1 billion people is about one and a half times the population of all of Europe, but 25 percent of its people live on less than one US dollar per day. Yet India Post manages to provide access to all persons living in this vast region, including those who have nebulous addresses. India Post is the largest postal network in the world with 155,699 post oﬃces (March 2006). Ninety percent of post oﬃces are located in rural areas. On average, a post oﬃce serves an...
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