The Postal Service in Bhutan was first launched on 10th October 1962 with the opening of a post office in Phuentsholing. In the same year, post offices were also opened in Paro and Thimphu. It was called the Department of Posts and Telegraphs and placed under the Ministry of Communications. This was the initial step taken by the Royal Government to provide a uniform means of communication throughout the country. The policy was initiated on eve of the 1st Five Year Plan, noting the importance of the existence of a uniform means of communication throughout the country to the achievement of a balanced socio-economic development. Initially the services offered were basic such as letter mail, postcards and parcels. International mail was only exchanged with India. Mail exchange within Bhutan and with India was transported through a unique mode of transport system, a combination of runners, porters, mules and motor. Not withstanding the simplicity in its daily operation and the hardship posed by the rugged terrain and extreme climatic condition in winter, it was an efficient set up and contributed to the growth of the nation, especially enhancing development in rural areas.
Bhutan became a member of the Universal Postal Union (UPU), the body of the United Nations concerned with postal affairs, in 7th March 1969. Although Bhutan had already established mail exchange with a few other countries, it was the first time that its presence was felt at an international postal gathering. In 14th February 1983 Bhutan also became a member of the Asian Pacific Postal Union (APPU).
Postal services developed rapidly during successive Five Year Plans. They were enhanced mainly because of the priority set by the Royal Government on the development of Post in achieving balanced economic development throughout the country. Moreover, since Bhutan was one of the last countries to introduce the process of modernization, development of other means of communication within a short period was not possible.
Today, the Post’s network consists of 42 outlets, including 4 General Post Offices and 38 Post Offices. Its portfolio of services also developed and improved over time and an International Express Mail Service (EMS) was introduced in July 1993. Express mail services were introduced into the domestic sector in 1966. Money order services were improved with the introduction of Facsimile Money Order for Bhutan and Electronic Money Order (eMO) for exchange with India. In 1997, Bhutan Post set up a transport network for the purpose of carrying both passenger and mail. This network presently covers between Thimphu and Phuentsholing and between Phuentsholing and Kolkata.
Until 1st October 1996, the Department of Posts and Telegraphs was a government body. However, as part of the Royal Government’s policy of granting autonomy to organizations, which have potential to operate independently, the Department of Posts and Telegraphs was converted to an autonomous commercial corporation on 1st October 1996 under the trading name “Bhutan Post”.