The Committee on ‘Change of designations’, which was to be held today, 24th April, has been postponed. This will be held shortly.
BSNL is compelled to pay high charges for the satellite links for better connection in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep etc. The charges are to be paid for the Department of Space for these connections. It is now reported that based on the demand of the BSNL and DOT, the Department of Space has agreed to waive the charges for operation of BSNL in these border areas, including the North East.
The government should, not only take the decision, but also implement the same at the earliest which will give some relief to the ailing BSNL.
30th meeting of the National Council held.
The 30th meeting of the National Council took place today the 23-04-2014. Shri A.N.Rai, chairman of the National Council, presided over. In today’s meeting the Staff Side strongly protested the indifferent attitude of the Management, in settling the long pending genuine problems of the Non-Executives, on the plea that the Company is facing a crisis. It was also questioned, how the top officers of the Company continue to incur extravagant expenditures when the Company is facing financial crisis. Further, the repeated statements being made by the CMD BSNL, to give a wrong picture, as if the Company has gone into loss only because of the huge expenditure being incurred for payment of salaries to the employees, was strongly protested by the Staff Side in the meeting. The Management was demanded to start early discussion on the charter of demands submitted to the CMD BSNL on 09-04-2014, and to find an amicable solution to the problems. As regards the decision of the BSNL Board to form a separate Subsidiary Tower Company, as well as the proposal to induct a strategic partner subsequently, they came under the severe criticism of the Staff Side. The Staff Side recorded it’s strong protest for the decisions and demanded to rescind the same. (Courtesy:BSNLEU Website)
Whenever the DOT or BSNL Management is asked about the financial condition of BSNL, they immediately blame the wage bill of the huge workforce of BSNL. They will point out that the wage bill comes to about 50% of the expenditure or so. Next point will be to implement VRS for about one lakh workers so that the expenditure can be reduced and BSNL saved. Even in interview with the CMD BSNL, the Business Lines column writer has reported the CMD BSNL, mentioning the wage increase as one of the main reasons of the financial difficulties.
In the report of the Group of Ministers from BSNL, again the main reason for the financial difficulties is mentioned as huge wage bill coming up to 50% of the total expenditure.
All the above arguments are a fallacy to mislead the government and the public. Let us examine the points one by one.
1. Did the wage bill increase? No. The wage bill for 2009-10 was Rs. 13,455 crore, for 2010-11 Rs. 13,791 crore, for 2011-12 Rs. 13,406 crore and for 2012-13 Rs. 13,856 crore. One can see that there is no increase as such, but only small amount more or less each year.
2. The wage bill comes to 50% of the revenue: The wage bill has increased in %, not because of the actual increase of wages, but due to loss of revenue. The revenue came down drastically during the period mentioned above. While the revenue was Rs. 34,708 crore in 2009-10, it reduced to Rs. 29,686 crore in 2010-11, Rs. 27,933 crore in 2011-12 and to Rs. 26,396 in 2012-13. it is because of this drastic reduction in revenue that the % of wage bill has gone up. For example, if the revenue has up to Rs. 50,000 crore, the wage bill come to only between 25%-30%.
3. Who is responsible for the loss in revenue? Mainly it is the anti-PSU policy of the government. Secondly, it is the inept management. And thirdly a casual attitude of some workers.The government and management do not miss any chance to cite the example of the private companies, their work, profit etc. But they once again forget a important thing. In the private sector, when there is any loss, the management is fully responsible. The CMD and top officers resign on their own or are sent by the company making them responsible for the loss. But the same management which caused the loss continues without any stigma in BSNL.
4. What is the efficiency rate of the company management?: The rate is very low. None of the projects are completed in time. Whether the installation of 2199 towers in the 9 naxalite affected areas, The construction of the OFC lines for the Defence to enable them to release the spectrum, NOFN, BBNL etc. Everything in lagging behind. Who is responsible? The Management.
The Management and the Government should wake up from the slumber, instead of sleeping over the works and projects and sincerely and seriously attend to work. The workers are always ready to put all their strength for improving the situation so that BSNL can be saved and an efficient service provided.
As usual, the meeting of the Staff Side of the National Council met today, one day before the meeting of the National Council to be held on 22nd April 2014, to discuss about the issues and finalise our arguments/points. Com. Islam, Leader Staff Side presided. Com. P.Abhimanyu, Secretary Staff Side presented and briefed about the issues. Detailed discussion took place with all the members actively participating. It was decided that maximum pressure should be exerted to settle the urgent issues of the workers.
78.2% IDA for Pensioners – Discussion with Secretary DOT and Member (Finance)
Com. V.A.N.Namboodiri, Advisor, AIBDPA, met Shri M.F.Farooqui, Secretary, DOT and discussed about the urgent need to issue orders for grant of 78.2% IDA fixation to the pensioners retired before June 2013. Com. Namboodiri pointed out the undue delay in the DOT for giving replies to the three queries raised by the Department of Expenditure and sought that immediate action be taken in the matter. He also pointed out that it is more than ten months since the regular employees and the pensioners retired from June onwards have received the benefit. Secretary DOT appreciated the anxiety of the pensioners and stated that DOT will take immediate action in the matter. He also called the Member (Finance) and advised her to speed up the reply and process.
Com.Namboodiri met Smt. Annie Moraes, Member (Finance) and had detailed discussion on the same issue. She confirmed the call from the Secretary DOT and assured that immediate action will be taken to finalise the reply to the DoE and send it.
BSNL Management along with the representatives of M/S KPMG Consultants gave a Presentation today on the ‘Project Unnati’, the proposal for monetising the the BSNL Towers by forming a subsidiary company for managing the ‘Tower business of BSNL. Shri Neeraj Varma, GM SR and Shri Bhandari GM explained the details. All the unions/associations were invited to the presentation.
The Unions’/Associations’ representatives strongly opposed to the proposal for forming the new Tower Company. They stated that they were not considered before the BSNL Board took the decision on such an important issue which affects the BSNL and the BSNL workers. They opposed the formation since it is nothing less than separating the tower business from BSNL and later privatising it. The future of the employees who will be deputed/absorbed in the new company will be disastrous.
The Unions/Associations stated their strong protest and asked the available officers to convey the same to the Management.
From the BSNLEU, Coms. V.A.N.Namboodiri, President, P.Abhimanyu, General Secretary, Animesh Mitra, Dy.GS and Swapan Chakraborty, AGS participated.
The first meeting of the reconstituted ‘Change of Designation Committee’ entrusted for making suggestions on the subject will be held on 24th April 2014. BSNLEU demanded for the change of designations of the non-executive years back and a committee was appointed for the same. After much delay a report was jointly submitted on the change of designation for RM and TM, signed by the committee (including official side), but it was not approved by the Management. hence the new committee.
We are at a loss to understand why the management has not approved the committee report earlier. If there is no assurance that the management will accept the recommendations of the committee, then why a new Committee. Of course, the union has demanded it.
Let us hope that the Official side and Management will see reason and agree for the changes.
It is reported that the telecom department has asked Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd to take over the management and maintenance of the long-awaited government network for confidential intra-departmental communications, after the Centre for Development of Telematics failed to execute the project on time.
This will give some relief to the MTNL to tide over its financial crisis.