Govt ought to save BSNL not Reliance Jio, says workers union – THE WEEK

Govt ought to save BSNL not Reliance Jio, says workers union – THE WEEK

Practically 1.98 lakh BSNL and MTNL workers would breathe straightforward on Friday as their unpaid salaries had been taken up for clearance by the telecom PSUs, division of telecom officers stated. A day earlier, about Rs 500 crore was launched by the federal government within the wake of a wage disaster.

The fee of wage for the month of February 2019 acquired affected after the BSNL administration took a call in January to pay wage to all staffers relying on the income receipts of a telecom circle. Deficits in income collections occurred in circles of north and west India, the place BSNL is on a again foot after robust inroads made by Reliance Jio in cellular information providers.

BSNL workers in Kerala, nonetheless, didn’t should face the delay of their wage fee. Kerala is among the many most worthwhile circle of BSNL and has witnessed a rise in working revenue this 12 months, earlier than calculating depreciation of belongings in its books.

Earlier, the telecom PSU had introduced that it could pay salaries for March onwards frequently. “There will likely be no extra issues about wage fee as BSNL’s personal revenues would begin to movement in from March onwards. I used to be instructed by them that Rs 850 crore is the quantity earmarked for wage fee, of which Rs 322 crore will likely be used to clear previous dues,” stated Manoj Sinha, Union telecom minister on Friday.

“After this, there will likely be no extra worker dues,” Sinha instructed reporters. In truth, if all the things goes as deliberate with BSNL’s money movement, workers are more likely to obtain their March salaries on time by March 30.

The minister stated that pending dues of Rs 171 crore of MTNL was additionally launched by the Division of Telecom. Each BSNL and MTNL work on varied tasks of division of telecommunications and have dues operating to about Rs 6,000 crore for BSNL and Rs 500 crore for MTNL, in accordance with Sanchar Nigam Govt Union (SNEU), BSNL officers union.

“There are deliberate makes an attempt by the federal government to stall BSNL’s progress. That is additionally achieved by blocking our funds by DoT,” stated Aftab Ahmed Khan, president, SNEA. Khan defined that BSNL’s receivables due from DoT are: Rs 2,350 crore on BWA spectrum refund curiosity, Rs 2,100 crore on extra pension contribution paid to DoT by BSNL from worker salaries and different receivables from DoT.

“This in flip will profit the non-public operators particularly Reliance Jio to seize the whole telecom market,” he provides. Throughout a gathering of the All Unions and Associations of BSNL (AUAB) with the BSNL administration final week, the unions had been assured that salaries could be paid by March 20. To enhance sentiments, unions have interacted with one another individually and in addition with the BSNL administration, which they declare hastened the due fee course of.

BSNL officers stated that the corporate had already acquired its letter of assist from the DoT, which can allow it to ask for funds from banks to the tune of Rs 3,500 crore to assist it with a rollout of 4G information providers.

The Modi administration had been going sluggish with tackling troubles which have been brewing with the workers of the nationwide telecom operators. BSNL and MTNL workers have been protesting for a 12 months over allocation of 4G spectrum to BSNL, revision of their pensions and searching for refunds from DoT on extra contribution charged from BSNL on account of GPF contributions for over two years.

Sinha and others within the authorities together with outgoing telecom secretary Aruna Sundararajan had met representives of the All Workers Union of BSNL (AEUB) twice final 12 months assuring them decision of their calls for.

After the final assembly in December 2018, unions had been assured by Sinha that each one their calls for could be thought-about by the federal government, and stopped the unions from asserting a serious strike.

However since his assurances, little or no has come when it comes to fulfilling these guarantees to BSNL workers. “We at the moment are focusing our power on convening a protest march on April 5, by which greater than 10,000 workers of BSNL would march to Sanchar Bhavan and push for our pending calls for. The surplus fee of GPF contributions of workers alone stand at Rs 4,000 crore,” stated Prahlad Rai, common secretary, AIBSNLEA.

At a time when all telecom firms are underneath heavy money owed starting from Rs 1 lakh crore to Rs 2 lakhs crore, BSNL’s web debt amounted to solely Rs 13,000 crore. The telecom PSU can be assessed to have Rs 2 lakh crore of land and different belongings.

Unions at the moment are searching for authorities intervention comes to assist BSNL. Prime administration of Reliance Jio had earlier overtly recognized BSNL and never another non-public telecom operator as their important competitor.

“When different non-public operators offering 4G providers confronted portability of numbers in tens of millions, BSNL offering solely 2G and 3G providers didn’t have a single clients porting to Jio service. Authorities ought to rescue BSNL and never Reliance. They need to enable us the letter of consolation important to mortgage funds from the financial institution for community growth and bettering different providers and push for a revival package deal for BSNL,” stated an workplace bearer of the left-backed BSNLEU, one of many largest unions of BSNL workers, with out eager to be named.

BSNL is an incipiently sick firm (in web loss for Three years) and seeks additional fairness infusion from the federal government. Earlier, an IIM-Ahmedabad research initiated by the federal government had proposed to revive the telecom PSU and termed it as important to maintain non-public telecom operators in test. Telecom customers in India take pleasure in among the many lowest information charges on this planet whereas costs paid for spectrum by telcos within the nation are among the many highest.