Indian Post Office Bill of 2023

Why is it Important?

The Indian Post Office Bill of 2023 was recently presented in parliament with the aim of replacing the Indian Post Office Act of 1898

What Does the Bill Include?

1.  Purpose – The main goal of the Bill is to “combine and update the law about the Post Office in India,” which now offers various services beyond just delivering mail.

2.  Exclusive Privileges – The current Bill removes Section 4 of the 1898 Act, which gave the government the sole right to transport all letters from one place to another by post.

3.  Address Prohibited Items and Duties:  It also allows postal officers to hand over postal items to customs authorities if they are suspected of containing prohibited items or if they are subject to duty.

4.  Offenses and Penalties – Most offenses and penalties mentioned in the 1898 Post Office Act have been removed, except for cases of non-payment, which can be recovered as land revenue arrears.

5.  Exemptions from Responsibility – Section 10 frees the Post Office and its officers from “any responsibility for loss, wrong delivery, delay, or damage during services, except as prescribed.”

6.  Power expansion:  It expands the powers of the Director General of Postal Services beyond postal operations, allowing them to oversee activities related to additional services specified by the central government and establish fees without parliamentary approval

7.  Regulates private courier services:  The 2023 Bill, for the first time, regulates private courier services by including them in its scope.

8.  Checking Shipments – Section 9 gives the government the power, through an official notice, to authorize officers to check, open, or hold items in the interest of state security, friendly relations with other countries, public order, emergencies, public safety, or compliance with other laws.

Today’s Current Affairs MCQs/ GK Quiz 19th December 2023

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