The prime minister opens newly-constructed Dak Bhaban at Agargaon for Directorate of Posts
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday urged the country's postal services to go for online business to reach perishable goods to the doorsteps of the people.
"The online business and sale are booming particularly after the outbreak of coronavirus. So, it needs to introduce the service so that perishable goods — food items, fruits and vegetables — can be sent through the postal services," she said.
The prime minister said this while launching the newly constructed 14-storey eye-catching Dak Bhaban, the administrative headquarters of the Directorate of Posts, in the capital's Agargaon area, virtually from her official residence Ganabhaban.
She said the government is modernizing and expanding the country's postal services.
She said the government is not only digitizing the postal system, but also purchased 118 mail vehicles to extend services for the people.
Male and female workers are being trained to drive the vehicles, she said.
"We have already taken initiative to introduce cooling systems in the postal services to transport perishable goods from one place to another place. We are taking measures to procure suitable vehicles so that the people can avail the [transportation] service of goods including fruits and vegetables through the post offices," she added.
Sheikh Hasina said a person should get the service from the postal department to send even cooked food to his or her relatives or dear ones in a good condition. This is why, suitable cooling system or freezing system is required for the perishable goods, she added.
Noting that procurement of the vehicles would not be enough for transport of perishable items, she said now construction of warehouses equipped with cooling chambers in the postal centres continues.
The prime minister said the construction of 14 modern mail processing and logistic service centres equipped with chilling chambers to preserve the perishable items is about to be completed.
She said the government is working to provide such transport services to the divisional and district towns initially as the government has taken measures to construct 38 client-friendly model post offices equipped with modern mail processing, chilling facility, storage and digital facilities.
Sheikh Hasina directed the Directorate of Posts to design projects to extend the service to upazila and union level.
"I would like to tell the Directorate of Posts that you will undertake such projects for introducing such systems [warehouses with chilling chambers] in upazila and union level that means all post offices," she said.
In 2010, the government amended the Post Office Act, 1898 in order to make the century-old law a time-befitting one, she said.
8,500 post offices transformed as digital ones
The prime minister said some 8,500 post offices have already been transformed as digital ones across the country under a project.
Noting that the government earlier set up 5,227 digital centres in the country, she said now people can also avail different digital services from the post office like digital centres.
Focusing on different new postal services, Sheikh Hasina said her government introduced postal track and tracing and online enquiry system, postal call centre, e-commerce, electronic money transfer service/mobile money order, postal cash card, international electronic money order (IEMO), and mobile financial services.
On the occasion of launching the multi-storey Dak Bhaban, the prime minister also released a commemorative postal stamp.
The modern building, constructed in the shape of a letter box, is equipped with a library, modern postal museum, auditorium, work stations, cafeteria, day care centre, medical facilities, firefighting system, and other IT facilities.
Posts and Telecommunications Minister Mustafa Jabbar spoke at the virtual function from the premises of Dak Bhaban in Agargaon.
Prime Minister's Principal Secretary Dr Ahmad Kaikaus conducted the function, while Posts and Telecommunications Secretary Md Afzal Hossain delivered the welcome speech.