Sat, 03 Jun 2000

PT Pos Indonesia says stamp prices must go up

BANDUNG (JP): State-owned postal company PT Pos Indonesia (Posindo) announced on Friday that it would propose a significant increase in the cost of stamps due to rising operational costs.

Posindo spokesman M. Sabarudin said the company would specifically ask for hikes in the cost of sending regular letters, aerograms and postcards.

Sabaruddin said the extra income from the increases in the three postal services would be very important for the firm's cash flow, because it handled at least 10 million pieces of post every year.

"The government has not raised the rate since 1996. While, by comparison, the government has increased transport rates several times," Sabarudin said.

He explained that the price of a stamp for a local postcard was Rp 350, while its operational cost was Rp 917.

For regular letters the rate is Rp 500, while operational costs already top Rp 947, he said.

"The operational cost of an aerogram this year is Rp 936, while the official rate is only Rp 300," Sabarudin said.

He also said that the government forced the postal firm to handle government programs, like the social safety net program and the sales of duty stamps, for no fee.

"We hope the government will agree with our request," said Sabarudin.

He said the company would soon send the proposal to the Ministry of Transportation's Post and Telecommunication Directorate General, which would then submit the proposal to the House of Representatives.

Despite increased operational costs the company still made a significant profit last year, due to profitable sectors like overnight and express delivery services.

He did not elaborate on last year's profit. (25)