World Bulletin/News Desk
The Postal and Telecommunications General Directorate (PTT) will be restructured as a joint stock distribution company.
Parliament has been discussing a bill since last week that aims to restructure the PTT as a joint stock distribution company and set forth the procedures and principles concerning the PTT's activities.
Deputies from the opposition parties are criticizing the bill, claiming that the government is conducting legal preparations to privatize the PTT, which is one of the oldest public institutions of Turkey.
Arguing that the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) acts as a subcontractor for global capital, Republican People's Party (CHP) Adana deputy Turgay Develi asked why the government is trying to privatize a profit-making public institution. He said the government invests in public institutions before privatizing them.
Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) İstanbul deputy Mehmet Ali Torlak noted that the bill was prepared without consulting those involved. "The government should withdraw the bill and revise it after obtaining the opinions of the concerned sides."
Drawing attention to the incorrectness of ignoring the opinions and demands of those involved, CHP Manisa deputy Sakine Öz criticized Parliament's commission for overseeing public works, zoning and transportation for its refusal to interview representatives of labor unions while preparing the bill.
In response to the criticisms, Minister of Transportation, Maritime Affairs and Communications Binali Yıldırım underlined that restructuring the PTT as a joint stock distribution company does not mean the PTT will lose its status as a public institution. "The PTT will be a state-owned company, and PTT staff will remain public employees," he said.
Denying claims that the government is making legal preparations for the privatization of the PTT, Yıldırım stressed that they are not planning to privatize the PTT. "Even if we intended to privatize the PTT, it requires a different legal procedure. This bill does not contain preparations for the privatization of the PTT," he added.
Yıldırım also pointed out that although the PTT has lost advantages because of its current structure, "it has managed to renew itself during the last 10 years and stop any change for the worse. We want to see that the PTT, which has become a trademark of Turkey with its 173-year-old history, continues to renew itself and also preserve its original principles," he said.
"Considering the changing conditions, both in the world and in Turkey, we want to ensure the continuation of the PTT's success. During the last 10 years, the PTT has being trying to compete with other companies running business in the same sector without the necessary legal framework."
Yıldırım also stressed that the bill also aims to prevent the employment of subcontractors in the PTT.
The bill authorizes the PTT to do things like provide an address database, utilize electronic certification, sell postage stamps and offer armored transportation service for banks. The aim of the bill is to provide high-quality postal services at a reasonable price throughout the country without damaging the competitiveness in the sector and creating a postal sector which is more free, transparent and financially strong. The bill also has provisions on the regulation and auditing mechanisms in the sector.
The legislation states that the PTT will be the property of the Treasury, but the administrative, representation and auditing rights of the Undersecretariat of the Treasury will be exercised by the Ministry of Transportation, Maritime Affairs and Communications.
The principles and procedures concerning the establishment of branches, as well as offshore partnerships, will be decided by the Cabinet. Moreover, the PTT will be authorized to participate in international unions' or institutions' works as the postal sector representative and sign protocols.Last Mod: 01 Mayıs 2013, 17:40