In contrast to the usual tales of woe, increasing losses and strikes, an online publication had this optimistic story:
Sri Lanka Post has done its homework. According to Shervyn Senadheera, Additional Secretary to the Ministry of Posts, Postal Services & Muslim Religious Affairs, a survey conducted between 2013 and 2014 with a sample size of 1,122 participants found that only 15 – 18% of the population has the capability of getting their services online, through the internet, mobile phones and apps. The rest of the population faces immense hurdles in terms of language, computer literacy, access to hardware, and confidence with technology. Senadheera is of the opinion that whatever the technology introduced, basic problems like those mentioned above need to be addressed first. And there is truth to the statement: even a giant technological development drive will need to tackle computer literacy before the people can enjoy its benefits.
A government entity conducting sample surveys to find what its customers wanted! This is surprising, but Mr Senadheera is a former Post Master General who tried to modernize the antediluvian monopoly and paid a price for it. He has been brought back as a policy maker by the new government. He has a large task ahead of him. Here is what the Central Report had to say about the Department of Post (DOP) in 2015:
The continued losses of DOP could be attributed to the increased availability of alternative modes of communication, while the operational structure of the postal service has remained broadly unchanged. The operating loss of DOP increased by 4.4 per cent to Rs. 3.0 billion in 2014, compared to the loss of Rs. 2.9 billion in 2013. This was the net outcome of the increase in total revenue by 11.0 per cent to Rs. 6.6 billion and the increase in operating expenditure by 8.8 per cent to Rs. 9.5 billion. Postage tariffs were increased after 7 years in August 2014, raising the postal charge for normal letters and business mail from Rs. 5 to Rs. 10 and Rs. 5 to Rs. 15, respectively. Tariffs on other services were also raised with the objective of enhancing the financial position of DOP.
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