Release the list of Black Money holders – Ram Jet Malani

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BJP Government is under great pressure to release the names of persons who have put black money in foreign accounts. The party which accused the UPA government for not releasing the names are now finding justifications for not releasing the names after coming in to power. There is severe criticism from many quarters on this round about turn.

Now it is Ram Jet Malani, the Senior Supreme Court Advocate who has demanded for release of the list and criticised BJP for not releasing.

As per the election promise, BJP Government should release the name to the public. Otherwise they are breaking and dishonoring their assurances to the people.

Forum Meets CMD BSNL

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Com. V.A.N.Namboodiri, Convener, Forum of BSNL Unions and Associations met Shri A.N.Rai, CMD BSNL and discussed about the Revival of BSNL and connected matters. He asked the CMD not to implement the M/s Deloittee Committee recommendations with out discussing with the Forum and unions/associations.He also requested to keep in abeyance the orders issued for implementing the concept of SSAs in Maharashtra. CMD assured that a meeting with the Forum will be held shortly to discuss the issues in detail.

Since there is more and more demand for the PLB pipes in connection with the NOFN project, CMD informed that proposals are being mooted to produce the same from more telecom factories in addition to Alipore factory.

Com.Namboodiri pointed out the non-implementation of labour laws with regard to the casual and contract workers and requested to ensure their implementation.

Com.Namboodiri requested for grant of liberal assistance to the employees of Jammu and Kashmir who have lost all in the recent drastic flood. CMD assured that whatever assistance is given by the state government to its employees will be given to the BSNL employees by the management.

Forum Convener meets Secretary, DOT on Revival of BSNL and grant of 78.2% IDA Fixation for BSNL Pensioners.

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Com. V.A.N.Namboodiri, Convener, Forum of BSNL Unions and Associations, met Secretary DOT, Sri Rakesh Garg today and discussed about the Revival of BSNL and connected matters.

Com. Namboodiri pointed out the need for urgent financial assistance to BSNL from the government so that it can purchase equipment and develop and expand the services. He stated that it was because of the equipment crunch from 2006 onward, due to the cancellation of the 45 million mobile tender, that BSNL started down sliding. He requested that the refund of spectrum charges coming to more than Rs. 6,000 crores and also the USOF allotment of Rs. 1,250 crores in lieu of ADC may be paid at the earliest. Secretary DOT stated that the government will certainly help BSNL for its revival and the issues stated will be taken care of. At the same time, he also mentioned that there are several complaints about the services to the public, which have to be improved a lot. He mentioned his own experience while in UP as also in Delhi. He appreciated the workers of Kerala for better service and profit. Com. Namboodiri explained in brief about the action and propaganda being made among the workers by the Forum for improving the services through which the services are improving.

Com. Namboodiri placed before the Secretary DOT about the hardship of the BSNL pensioners due to delay on settlement of the 78.2% IDA fixation for pre-2007 as also post-2007 pensioners. He requested that the Cabinet Note as required by the Department of Expenditure be prepared early and submitted to the cabinet for taking a decision. Secretary agreed to look in to the matter and expedite the same.
Com. Namboodiri thanked the Secretary DOT for the meeting and requested that such meetings may be granted in future also.

Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank Started.

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This is a good and welcome development. The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank is launched today, 24th October 2014 at Shanghai, China, attended by most of the countries in Asia. But Australia, South Korea and Indonesia did not attend due to US pressure, who sees the new bank as a rival to World bank as also the Asian Development Bank controlled by it.

The AIIB with an investment of $ 50 billion is expected to help the Asian countries by giving loans at cheaper rates and more liberal conditions than both World Bank and Asian Development Bank. Naturally, US, World Bank etc. are not happy with the new development. India is an active partner of the Bank.

US Daily, US State Secretary Praise Cuba for anti- Ebola activities

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Imperialist US has always been on the look out for any chance to attack / destabilise the tiny Socialist Cuba. The economic blockade of Cuba by US and allied countries are continuing for decades. But a surprising development has now taken place. US has praised Cuba for its humanitarian work against the dreaded disease Ebola. A rport published in Ganashakti in thei connection is given below:

New Delhi, October 22, 2014 : It is rare for any American mainstream daily to heap praise on Cuba. Rarer still for a US Secretary of State to acknowledge the contribution made by Socialist Cuba. But this is exactly what has happened. Fifty five years after the Cuban revolution and decades of the callous and cruel economic embargo and sanctions against the tiny island nation, lying just a few hundred kilometers of the US coast, the New York Times has called upon the Obama administration for restoring diplomatic relations with Cuba.

These observations in the NYT’s October 19 editorial come in the wake of the massive efforts that Cuba has made in the global effort to contain the Ebola virus from spreading. Secretary of State John Kerry too was compelled to acknowledge Cuba’s response in the wake of wide media coverage to Cuban efforts in this regard. In contrast to the US just committing funds to fight the spread of the virus, it is only Cuba that has had the courage to send its medical personnel – doctors and paramedics to the affected countries, at the risk of their own lives. This despite reports that more than 400 medical personnel have been infected. The virus has also reached the United States and Europe, amid fears that the epidemic could soon spread globally.

Former Cuban President, Fidel Castro has appealed to the US to set aside its differences with Cuba to fight against the virus. In a write up in the Granma, Castro said: “We will gladly cooperate with U.S. personnel in this job, though not in the search of peace between our two countries who have been enemies for years. In any case, we will work for the peace in the world”. Further, “By sending Cuban doctors and nurses to Africa we are protecting our people, and our Latin American and Caribbean brothers. We are also preventing its expansion, because unfortunately it has already arrived in the United States,” he said.

Cuba takes pride in its excellent healthcare system and has always rendered help to countries in need of medical assistance. It has had its doctors and nurses serve in Angola during their liberation struggle. Since 1960, Cuba has sent 135,000 health workers overseas. Currently it is estimated that 50,000 medical professionals are working in 66 countries across Latin America, Africa and Asia. Cuban doctors and paramedics are also rendering services in Brazil, Venezuela and Bolivia. Cuba had even offered help to the US in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, only to be flatly refused. Cuba has now sent medical teams to Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea.

These medical professions will work under the World Health Organization. Cuba proposes to send 460 doctors and nurses. 165 of them have already reached Sierra Leone, while a 52-member team comprising doctors, nurses, epidemiologists, intensive care doctors, general practitioners, surgeons, pediatricians, intensive care nurses, anesthetists and licensed nurses are landing in Liberia today.

As opposed to the magnificent Cuban response the Obama administration has just pledged to spend $400 million to build a dozen hospitals.

The outbreak has already claimed the lives of more than 4,500 people, most of them in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.

The Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Margaret Chan, thanked Cuba for its efforts. She was in Havana to attend an extraordinary meeting of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America-Peoples Trade Agreement (ALBA-TCP) organised to address the threat posed by the Ebola virus.

The ALBA-TCP meeting in Havana on October 20th, adopted a resolution expressing profound concern about the “humanitarian catastrophe in West Africa caused by the Ebola epidemic, which is been considered by the World Health Organization (WHO) to be a ‘public health emergency’ of international concern, with the threat of spreading to other countries and regions of the world”. Countries attending the meeting pledged to coordinate efforts to prevent and deal with the Ebola epidemic, including “rapidly providing and sharing assistance among our countries, with healthcare workers and relevant supplies and materials”

A technical meeting of specialists and directors of ALBA-TCP countries will be held in Havana, on October 29 and 30, to “exchange experiences and knowledge, as well as to draft prevention and control strategies for the threat of the Ebola epidemic”. The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela has meanwhile donated a sum of five million dollars to the UN to combat Ebola.

Good news! CGHS now available to BSNL Absorbed Retirees

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AIBDPA has been demanding the government that retired BSNL absorbees should be allowed the CGHS facilities, since they were government servants and their pension is being paid by the Government. The AIBDPA All India Conference at Kannur passed a resolution also on this matter.

Now the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Department of Health & Family Welfare, New Delhi vie their letter No. Z.15025/36/2006-CGHS III (Part) dated 9/1/2014 has issued orders in this regard.

As per the orders, ” The erstwhile Central govt. Employees who got absorbed in BSNL/MTNL and retired from there and currently in receipt of central civil pension from Central Civil estimates under Major Head – 2071 are eligible to join CGHS. Their subscription rate and ward entitlement may be determined as per their PPO.”

This order will benefit those retirees who want to avail the facility of CGHS.

We Still Remember Telegrams, though closed last year

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24th October is a special day for the Telecom. It was on this day 163 years earlier in 1851, that the Telegram Services started in India. The first message was between Calcutta (Telecom Factory) and Diamond Harbour.
Telegraph Services flourished quickly and was the quickest mode of communications till telephones was introduced. For documentary purposes telegram was the best mode still.
It ended its 163 years of grand existence in India on 15th July 2013, on the plea of less telegrams and lack of profitability. We protested and wanted at least that the services continue in the Metros as a token service. But the government was firm to close the shop. The love and affection the people had for the service was shown on the last day when hundreds of people waited at the CTOs in major cities to send the last telegrams. There were very big queues even at 24.00 hours on 15th July still waiting to send telegrams when the service closed for ever.
The Heritage buildings which accommodated the CTOs in Kolkata, Mumbai, Delhi and Chennai will be last monuments of the Telegraph Services.

I am reproducing a post which was published in this blog last year when the Telegram was closed:

On 24th October 1851, the Telegraph Service is introduced in India by the British. The first message went from Calcutta to Diamond Harbour.
Within no time the Telegraph Services grew. From a service for official use, it became an essential service for the people to communicate urgent information. It was utilised by the business in a very large way. Telegraph offices were opened in all parts of the country.
The introduction of telephone services, mobile telephones, fax, internet and latest communication systems dealt a serious blow to the telegraph services. From crores and lakhs of telegraph messages in the country, it was reduced in to thousands and hundreds in a day.Still many people were using it. It would have continued for years more as the Tram Service in Kolkata.

But NO. The government of India and the Management of BSNL wanted to terminate it, to bury it even before it died. And on 15th July 2013, it was unceremoniously buried for ever.

But lakhs of ordinary people like me still remember the days of telegram with nostalgia. Whether it is news of passing in the examination, whether it is a birthday greetings, or even an intimation of death – telegram brought it to your house intimating good and bad news! That is why, on the last few days before 15th July 2013, people came in thousands to the telegraph office to send their last messages. And lo! Many people could not send the messages due to the huge rush.
The next generation will not be able to understand what telegram was to the common people. I still feel a great loss. I still feel guilty that we could not stop the closure of telegraph services, despite the strong protest of the Unions.

UNITED NATIONS DAY – 24 OCTOBER

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United Nations Organisation (UNO) completes 69 years of its existence on 24th October 2014. As the UNO website itself states:

“The United Nations is an international organization founded in 1945 after the Second World War by 51 countries committed to maintaining international peace and security, developing friendly relations among nations and promoting social progress, better living standards and human rights.”

It was formed after the Second World War at the initiative of USSR, US and Britain after the defeat of the Axis powers led by Adolf Hitler of Germany.

Now there are 193 states affiliated with the UNO. It has many sub-organisations like World Health Organisation, UNESCO, ILO etc.Its head Quarters is in New York in US.

Anybody watching the UN developments would wish that it would be more effective if it is fully free from the influence of the US and other imperialist countries.

An Appeal to all ITS, Executives and Non-Executives in BSNL

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AN APPEAL TO ITS OFFICERS, EXECUTIVES AND EMPLOYEES OF BSNL TO HELP END EXPLOITATION IN BSNL AND TO ENSURE JUSTICE TO CASUAL CONTRACT WORKERS

Dear Friends, Colleagues and Comrades,

My Best Wishes for a Happy Diwali to you and your Family !
As employees and officers of BSNL, we have been making all out efforts to improve the services to the customers as also for strengthening the financial viability of BSNL. We are all committed for restoring the glory and efficiency of the telecom services.
Compared to the present economic situation in the country, we all are adequately paid to a certain extent. Of course many demands are there, which are fully justified and which are yet to be granted. We are capable of fighting and getting our rights accepted as in the past.
Now I want to bring to your kind attention a very unhappy story of wage-slavery and brutal exploitation continuing in our own BSNL. I am talking about the one lakh and odd TSM/Casual and Contract labours who are engaged for work in BSNL and continuing for years together.
The casual labour were engaged prior to BSNL formation, mostly through employment exchanges. The contract labours are engaged mostly after formation of BSNL. All the casual labour / TSM could have been regularised, but for the unpardonable administrative delay in forwarding their cases to corporate office by the field level management.
we, officers and employees, are demanding for better wages, benefits etc. and going on struggle for achieving the same. But these casual and contract workers are pleading and appealing that whatever are the labour laws in the country be implemented with regard to Minimum Wage, Bonus, EPF, ESI, Gratuity, Regularisation etc. It is not that rules are not there. But they are not being implemented.
BSNL is a PSU, fully owned by the Government, but the laws of the government are violated and not implemented here. An unskilled contract worker in a C class City is to be paid around Rs.7,000/ for a month based on the daily rates plus DA decided by the Government and labour department. For semi-skilled, skilled and highly skilled as also in A and B class cities the wages are higher. But, except in very few places, the worker is paid only Rs. 1,000/ to Rs. 4,000 or so. Rs. 3,000 to Rs. 5000 which is due to him/her is denied. Think about what will happen if such an amount is reduced from your pay packet? What will be your reaction? You will certainly fight on the day itself and ensure that your full due is paid. EPF / ESI is not implemented in the case of contract workers, thus denying them any benefit when they are unable to work in their old age.
These workers are brutally exploited by the Contractor and in many places employees / officers become party to this exploitation. Not a single contractor has been punished or blacklisted all these years despite violation of law has been brought to the notice of the top management. This speaks a lot. A top official of the Management stated that this is a practice going on for long and is difficult to put an end to. This is sad news.
You will agree that this exploitation should end and that the contract/casual workers also should get a fair deal. This can be achieved if all of us come together and take a firm position that we will not allow this exploitation to continue.
The corrupt contractors and corrupt officers and employees who support them should be exposed. They should be taken to task. The casual and contract workers should get justice.
I would request you once again to come together to remove this stigma of corruption and exploitation in BSNL and ensure a better deal for these toiling workers whose future is tied up with us and the revival of BSNL.
Once again I wish you on this Diwali Day and request that let us all try to bring some light in to the lives of these exploited section of workers, who are our colleagues and comrades.
Yours Sincerely,
Sd/-
V.A.N.Namboodiri
President BSNL Casual Contract Workers Federation and
Convener, Forum of BSNL Unions / Associations.

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