Israel advances plan to privatize Postal Company

Israel's Postal Company is advancing toward privatization, with a focus on improving its service to the public and enhancing public welfare.

 CHAOS AT the Israel Post is a national, rueful joke. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
CHAOS AT the Israel Post is a national, rueful joke.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

In a significant development, the Communications, Finance, and Regional Cooperation Ministries have jointly announced on Monday a series of measures to advance the privatization of Israel's Postal Company, while simultaneously improving the service provided to the public.

Among the agreed-upon actions is the transfer of power to declare public interest, preventing the closure of post offices, to the Communications Ministry. Additionally, in the future, quality criteria will be more strongly considered before post branches are allowed to close, taking into account the needs of the periphery and the weaker societal strata.

"The postal service is advancing towards privatization while improving the service to the public," stated Communications Minister Dr. Shlomo Karhi. "As I have said from the beginning, I am committed to privatization solely for the purpose of improving the service to the public, with concern for the periphery and vulnerable populations that rely on postal and postal bank services. Adding quality criteria for licensing before closing branches, transferring authority to the trusted minister responsible for postal services before and after privatization, and continuing the hearing process with the parallel aim of dismissing the chairman of the company will ensure that the weak do not suffer and that the privatization process moves forward with full momentum to benefit us all. I thank Minister David Amsalem and Minister Bezalel Smotrich for their cooperation for the benefit of the entire public."

Privatization priorities public welfare 

Acting Director-General of the Communications Ministry Mymon (Moni) Shmila stated, "The ministry and the professional staff first and foremost consider the public's well-being. Therefore, it will continue the privatization process while ensuring that the service to the public is not harmed. The professional team has worked extensively in the past to promote privatization and will continue, God willing, to lead its implementation in the best possible way."

According to the agreements reached today, the Finance Ministry clarified that there is no objection on its part to continue the hearing process, which is the responsibility of the Communications Minister and the Regional Cooperation Minister, for the dismissal of the chairman of the mail service. This clarification comes in response to the position of the legal advisor of the Finance Ministry, Asi Messing, who stated that there is no connection between the privatization process and the dismissal of the chairman, as decided by the ministers.

 Israel Post postal worker delivers packages on his motorized scooter. (credit: VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)
Israel Post postal worker delivers packages on his motorized scooter. (credit: VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)

In addition, retirement funds in the amount of 400 million NIS will be transferred today to the postal employees in order to enable the implementation of the postal employees' retirement agreement, after payments were delayed in recent days.

Another piece of news received in the meeting is that part of the proceeds from the privatization of the postal service will be reinvested back into the company for the purpose of improving the service to benefit the citizens of Israel as a whole - directed towards the periphery in particular. Additionally, it is to address the issue of employment so that the company can meet its financial obligations.