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GUIDELINES FOR FORMAL STAMP RELEASE FUNCTION

1. The Department of Posts does not normally organize any formal function for release of Commemorative/Special postage stamps. The proponent of a particular stamp or stamps or individual organizations who moot such proposals and provide background material for design and information brochure etc. can, however, request the Department for permission to organize a function. This should, however, be done sufficiently in advance and such a proposed function accompanied by a draft minute-to-minute programme of the proposed function and a draft invitation card so that the Department could adopt uniformity of approach.

2. Any formal release function for a stamp should have an appropriate representative of the Department of Posts. The postage stamp, which is the legally valid receipt for postage paid, can be released by either the Minister for Communications or Minister of State for Communications. In case it is not convenient for either of them to release the stamp, the postage stamp can be released by the Secretary, Department of Posts, Member of the Postal Services Board or the Chief Postmaster General concerned. Exceptions to this are made only when the President of India, the Vice- President of India, the Prime Minister of India, the Speaker, Lok Sabha or the Governor of the State consent to release of postage stamp(s). On such occasions the Minister of Communications & IT/Minister of State for Communications & IT requests the President/Vice- President/Prime Minister to unveil the blow up the commemorative stamp and thereafter he presents the first Album to them for release. It is, therefore, imperative that the MOC&IT/MOSC&IT delivers his speech and introduces the stamp before actually requesting them for its release. Regardless of the VVIP/VIP who is invited by the proponent to grace the occasion, it is necessary that letters of invitation issue from the proponent to the Minister of Communications & IT/Minister of State for Communications & IT, Secretary, Department of Posts to ascertain their convenience.

3. Proposal for the formal release function must be mooted sufficiently in advance of the scheduled date of release of the stamp alongwith draft minute-to-minute programme of the proposed function, draft invitation cards & dais plan. This is necessary to enable the Department to ensure the desired uniformity/standard and protocol which is required to be maintained in view of the Department’s official involvement in such functions.

4. The level of the Department’s representation at a release function is decided keeping in view the level and status of the VIP who is to receive the first Album of the stamp to mark its formal release.

5. In addition to the Presentation Album, the Department of Posts also contributes towards such formal release function(s) by providing (a) blow up of the stamp for display at the venue of the release function (b) deluxe albums for presentation to the principal dignitaries at the function, and (c) one hundred first day covers alongwith information brochures for distribution among the distinguished invitees present on the occasion.

6. Additional albums of stamps, first day covers etc. can be obtained by the organizers of formal release function on payment, for which the exact requirement must be communicated to the Department or to the concerned Chief Postmaster General well in advance of the scheduled date of release. Throughout the process of organizing the function, the concerned Chief Postmaster General may keep informed & consulted.

7. It is also customary for the Department to provide a special stamp sale counter at the venue of the function, on demand.

8. It is the responsibility of the organizer to ensure that all the necessary arrangements for the function including printing and issue of invitation cards, site preparation, security arrangements, liaison with Press, T.V. etc. for publicity of the event etc. have been made.

9. Since the stamp is simultaneously released in about 1100 outlets across the country, no request for a change in the date of release would normally be entertained once it has been fixed.

10. The organizer of the release function should compulsorily invite the local Members of Parliament/State Legislature to the function and ensure their names find place in the invitation card & proper seating arrangements are made for MPs in accordance with the Warrant of Precedence, it is also the responsibility of the organizers to invariably invite the members of Philatelic Advisory Committee to the function.

11. No formal release function for a stamp can be held without specific prior approval from the Department of Posts. The Department does not take any responsibility for extending the usual support as indicated above, for the release function, unless approval for the function has been obtained in advance.