This Christmas season, if you intend to send across gifts – personal or corporate – by any courier service to your friends, relatives as well as business contacts – both in India or outside, better be ready to spend more money by way of higher courier charges.

Packing off special or even ubiquitous gifts to the near & dear ones during the festive period that extends well into the New Year seems to be getting more expensive thanks to the recent implementation of paying arrears to Custom officials of the Sixth Pay Commission.

A news report in The DNA by Shahkar Abidi gives out the details as follows:

  • An application by Express Industry Council of India (EICI), a body that handles courier services at Mumbai international airport, filed with the Airport Economic Regulatory Authority (AERA), a demand for revision of charges has been made.
  • Though EICI is a non-profit body, there are certain charges that it collects from customers and pays them to the government or agency which renders its services to them. The charges payable to the customs department have risen by about 500% – earlier the charges were Rs12 lakh, which have now been increased to Rs66 lakh per month – , an escalation of about 500%.
  • EICI has, in its proposal letter, mentioned: “Demands for arrears on account of retrospective increase in salaries of customs officers on account of the Sixth Pay Commission have been received by EICI”. The letter says that the monthly customs charges earlier were Rs12 lakh, which have now increased to Rs66 lakh per month.
  • EICI has warned that if the decision is not taken on a priority basis, it will have a bad effect on the operation of courier services at the airport. Sources at the airport said that the bills for the customs department also depend on the number of officials deployed for the service and the number of shipments which arrive or leave the airport over any given period. AERA has asked all stakeholders concerned to post their comments on the issue, the deadline for which has been set for December 7.

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