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High Handedness Of The DoT/Government – Salary Not Paid To BSNL Employees

Strong protest demonstrations were held all over India before Telephone Exchanges/GM Offices demanding immediate payment of the monthly salary for February 2019. Salaries are being paid on the last date of the month. But the February salary has not been paid so far on the plea that the management has got no money to pay. This is atrocious.

It is well known that BSNL has become loss-making, only due to the anti-BSNL, Anti-PSU policy of the government and the mismanagement of the top level management. When the company was in profit, large scale corruption also took place. Various suggestions have been given by the unions/associations for improvement of the services as also for development. In order to favor the private telecoms, all kinds of restrictions were put on BSNL to ensure that it does not grow and make a profit. BSNL was not allowed even to buy mobile lines when there was good demand. Still, the employees worked hard and ensured that better service is provided.

By the predatory pricing started by Reliance Jio, all companies have become loss-making, including Jio itself, though by manipulation of accounts, it shows a small profit. This has been exposed by telecom experts. BSNL is also in loss. All private companies are taking loans and managing services. But though BSNL is having only the minimum loans, despite repeatedly requested by BSNL management, it is not allowed to take loans by DOT. The fact that NITI Ayog has proposed either to privatize or close BSNL, though denied later, shows that Government is determined to destabilize BSNL to favor Reliance Jio, which is owned by Mukesh Ambani, the close friend of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

If BSNL has been allowed to take loan, the salaries could be paid. The contract workers in BSNL have not been paid wages for about three months or more. These are all part of the government proposal to privatize or close BSNL. The revival plans proposed by the government are nothing but proposals to close the PSU.

As per the call of All Unions and Associations of BSNL (AUAB), Circle and District Unions have been meeting M.P.s and presenting Memorandum on the survival of BSNL and requesting to pressurize the government to help BSNL to survive and improve. It has been pointed out that if BSNL is not in the field, the entire 100 crores and mobile subscribers of all companies will have to pay at least three or four times the charges since the private telecom will raise it as was in the case of petrol prices. To stop this increase in charges, the presence of BSNL is unavoidable.

Along with the M.P.s, the leaders of all political parties may be approached so that it becomes an important issue in the election as also afterwards.—V.A.N.Namboodiri is the Founder General Secretary of BSNL Employees Union, the recognized union in BSNL, representing two lakh workers.

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