Jet Airways closed!

Jet Airways, once the biggest Airways company, in the country has closed its services yesterday. The company has been making losses and was expected to close any time. This is the second big private airlines company that is being closed. A few years back, Kingfisher Airlines was closed and its owner Mallya leaving the country. It is not known what hit the Jet Airways, mismanagement or something.

The closure of these two big private company once again shows that despite given full freedom and unlimited loans, private companies are also collapsing. But the propaganda is against the PSUs, if even there is a small amount of loss. The PSUs are not becoming loss making due to lack of business or operations, but mainly due to the anti-PSU policy of the government.

IAS Officer suspended for checking the PM’s Chopper.

New Delhi, Apr 18 : The Election Commission has suspended a high-ranking poll observer deputed to Odisha on charges of “dereliction of duty” with regard to “SPG protectees” — in a reference to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

According to an EC order, Karnataka cadre IAS officer Mohammed Mohsin was suspended for “actions contrary to the instructions of the Commission concerning SPG protectees” on April 16 — the day SPG-protectee Prime Minister Modi visited Sambalpur to address an election rally.

The EC took the action against the general observer of Sambalpur on the basis of a report submitted by the district collector and the deputy inspector general of police.

Modi was stated to have been held up at the place for nearly 15 minutes because of Mohsin’s “actions”. The officer allegedly checked PM’s chopper in violation of norms.

“Checking of the prime minister’s chopper, undertaken at Sambalpur, was not in accordance with the EC guidelines as SPG protectees are exempt from such checking,” said an official in Bhubaneswar without elaborating.

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s helicopter was also checked by EC flying squad personnel in Rourkela on Tuesday.

A similar check was carried on another Cabinet Minister also. (Ganashakti)

Revision of wages of casual labours on the basis of VII CPC

Departmental Committee has agreed to revise the wages of casual labours – file will be put up to the CMD BSNL for early settlement.

BSNL employees union once again raised it’s strong voice in the meeting of departmental committee held on 08th April, 2019, in favour of casual labours. It was the formal meeting, between Director (HR), BSNL, and BSNLEU (CHQ) leadership. On the issue of revision of casual labours wage, Com.P.Abhimanyu, GS, BSNLEU, raised strong argument before Management and requested for early settlement of the issue. On discussion, it has reported from the Management Side that the Committee already formed to settle the issue has recommended to revise the casual labour wages based on 7th CPC. While Com.Animesh Mitra, SG, BSNL CCWF pointed out that the number of beneficiaries of the casual labourers is very less, but the department is unnecessarily dragging the issue since 3 years. Then, Ms. Sujata T. Ray, Director (HR) ordered the officers in Management Side to put up the file before CMD BSNL with a favourable note to settle the issue without further delay. Com.P.Abhimanyu, GS, BSNLEU & Vice President, BSNL CCWF, Com.Animesh Mitra, SG, BSNL CCWF and Com.Swapan Chakraborty, Dy.GS, were present in the meeting.(BSNLCCWF Website)

“Save BSNL – Save Nation” – Closure / privatisation of BSNL will be a national calamity

Certain points with regard to the “Save BSNL – Save Nation” campaign

1. BSNL formed on 01-10-2000 as part of the neo-liberal policy of the central government as the first step towards telecom privatisation. The declared aim of the government was to make it the first telecom company in the world and award Maharatna status. BSNL was 7th in the world at that time.
2. From the start, BSNL was discriminated against private operators, who were given licence for the first time in 1994-95. Licence for providing mobile service was granted to private companies by 1995, but denied to DOT/MTNL/BSNL. Only after approaching court and strong protest from employees, it was granted after 7 years in 2002. This caused great loss in market share to the PSUs.
3. Licence Fee to be paid by the private companies for grant of licence, was changed from Licence Fee to Revenue Sharing which resulted in a loss of more than Rs. 1,000 crore to the government ( 1995 – 1999 period)
4. BSNL surpassed all other telcos within three four years and was competing for the first place with Airtel by 2005. For this purpose, global tender to purchase 45.5 million mobile lines was finalised, but this was cancelled by the government on flimsy grounds to favour the private companies. Again, tenders for 93 million and 5 million lines were also cancelled. (After sustained struggles by the workers 22.5 million (50% of the first tender) was only allowed). This created the biggest down fall for BSNL and stopped its onward march in a big way.
5. The government wanted to disinvest, impose VRS on one lakh workers, unbundle the priceless copper wires etc. to weaken BSNLEU, but had to withdraw all these after protracted strike by workers in 2005-07 period.
6. BSNL was in profit from the start and was so till 2009-10. It had more than Rs. 29,000 crore accumulated profit. Large amount of dividend given to DOT.
7. Cash balance of about Rs.40,000 crore of BSNL in the banks were gradually taken away by the government on one pretext or other. First it was about Rs. 12,500 crores interest for a notional loan of Rs. 7,500 crore, which was never given. Rs. 18,500 crore was taken as cost of spectrum, while the amount paid by the private operators was only about Rs. 5,000 to 6,000. This was done by compelling BSNL to take licence all over India, not allowing to participate in the tender and charging at the highest rates. This way, all the surplus cash was appropriated.
8. As per government orders, pension contribution for the employees is to be on the basis of the actual salary which the employee is drawing. This is to be paid by the BSNL to the government, since the government is paying pension for BSNL absorbed employees as per the agreement in 2000. But the government is forcibly collecting pension contribution on the maximum of the pay scale, all these 18 years. This will come to more than Rs. 6,000 crore at the least.
9. The BWA spectrum was returned to the government since it was not useful, but the payment already made to the government is not refunded so far despite assurances.
10. At the time of formation of BSNL, it was assured that since the company is providing services in the villages, remote areas, naxal affected areas, border areas etc., which are loss making and in which the private companies are not interested, government will assist BSNL through Access Deficit Charge (ADC), Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) etc. to ensure communications services throughout the country. These were all withdrawn within a few years without any justification.
11. In the same way, all government projects like NOFN, NFS etc are allotted to BSNL to implement, but at the same time, sufficient funds are not allotted. In fact, to complete these projects for the government, the company has to spend much more than what is paid by the government. Further a good portion of the work force has to be utilised for the same adversely affecting regular service.
12. 4G Spectrum, which has been allotted to the private companies two years back, is not allotted to BSNL, hampering its upgradation of services. Govt. tried formation of separate Tower Company to destroy BSNL, by hiving of the money earning sector.
13. BSNL is in loss for the past few years due to the above as also due to cut throat competition, which has resulted in the lowest charge for telecom services throughout the world. All the private companies are also in loss. Bank loans of more than one lakh crore are to be paid by Idea, Vodafone etc. Though Reliance Jio says they are in profit by manipulating accounts, it is in loss of more than Rs.2 lakh crore. This is now mainly due to the predatory prices being started by Reliance Jio to finish all other companies including BSNL.
14. After the entry of Reliance Jio, the Government has been giving undue favours to it. Prime Minister Modi’s photo was put in the front page advertisements of Reliance Jio, as if the Prime Minister himself is its Brand Ambassador. They were allowed to continue special offers for more than 6 months against the existing regulation, below cost tariffs were introduced; cables were laid without the permission the local authorities etc.
15. The officers who questioned such illegal and irregular activities were shunted from top posts. J.S.Deepak, Secretary, DOT was shunted to another department for enquiring TRAI why no action is taken about the predatory pricing of Jio. Ravi Shankar Prasad, Communication Minister was probably shunted out as he started actions to improve the BSNL services.
16. NITI Ayog recommended for closure or privatisation of BSNL. It is pertinent in this context to mention the statement of Mukesh Ambani, owner of Reliance Jio, that BSNL is its only competitor. Despite all the competition and anti-policy of the government BSNL is increasing its market share from 9.4 to 9.76 and also mobile connections.
17. BSNL requires loan for developmental activities. But the government is not permitting to avail loan. In fact all other companies are doing their business only by taking loans which have gone up to more than Rs. 3 or 4 lakh crore.
18. Government is proposing VRS for more than 54,000 employees from the existing 1.76 lakh workforce. When the workforce was more than 3.5 lakhs, BSNL was making good profits. By implementing VRS, no company has improved. Case of MTNL for study. Reducing the work force will only be detrimental.
19. BSNL has suggested monetisation of the building, land asset etc. to pass over the crisis. This is not allowed at first. Now the govt is proposing monetisation of assets for the expenditure towards VRS.
20. The All Unions and Associations of BSNL (AUAB), the joint platform of the BSNL officers and employees, is on continuous struggles, strikes and agitation to improve the services and against privatisation and closure. That is why the government is unable to implement its anti-BSNL programmes easily. Three days strike was organised recently demanding 4G spectrum, permission to take loans, refund of extra collected pension contribution etc.
21. While special cabinet meeting was held to find out methods to assist the Jet Airways, which is in distress, the government is not taking any such steps to assist its own company BSNL.
22. If BSNL is privatised, the present lowest telecom charges will be astronomically increased by the private companies as a cartel. It was only when BSNL entered the mobile sector, that the charges were reduced to more than half. Disappearance of BSNL will not only adversely affect the BSNL subscribers, but the entire 120 crores of mobile subscribers, as all of them will have to pay the higher tariff, which will be introduced.
23. Salary for the month of February was delayed by the management probably to compel the workers to opt for VRS. Ten years back, the proposal to implement VRS for one lakh workers could not be implemented due to agitation by workers. Nobody opted.
24. BSNL can be made profitable and service improved by:
a) Allot 4 G Spectrum immediately followed by 5G spectrum.
b) Allow BSNL to take loan for developmental activities.
c) Refund all dues to BSNL including refund of extra collected pension contribution, service dues by central government, refund of interest collected for the notional loan etc.
d) Stop the unjustified favouritism to Reliance Jio, violating all rules and regulations.
e) Discuss with the employees’ unions/associations for improvement of services.
f) Implement Pay Revision, Pension Revision etc from the due date, w.e.f. 01-012017
g) Withdraw the proposal to send out 54,000 workers through VRS. Make payment of wages to the contract workers coming to about one lakh, which payment is delayed for 3 to 10 months.
h) There is good news that BSNL has earned about Rs.6500 crores in the Enterprises sector, despite stiff competition.
i) Restore the USOF, ADC etc. to cover up the loss of providing universal connectivity including remote localities, border areas etc.
Fill up all the posts of Directors of the company, including that of Director (Finance) which is vacant for years together.

“Save Democracy” – Verify at least 50% votes by VVPAT- Opposition parties

Raising doubts over the credibility of EVMs, a number of opposition parties Sunday said they will move the Supreme Court again to demand verification of at least 50 per cent of votes by paper trail.

Opposition parties, including the Congress, Telugu Desam Party (TDP), Samajwadi Party, CPI and CPI(M), jointly addressed a press conference to highlight the issue of transparency in the election process and protection of voter rights with a call to “save democracy”.

Delhi Chief Minister and AAP supremo Arvind Kejriwal accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of “programming” electronic voting machines to win the Lok Sabha elections, while his Andhra Pradesh counterpart Chandrababu Naidu said 21 political parties have demanded verification of VVPAT paper trails of 50 per cent of the EVMs.

Naidu on Saturday had met Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora to raise the issue of EVM malfunctioning.

The demand by the parties comes in the peak of the election season.The first of the seven phases of the Lok Sabha polls was held on April 11. (Ganashakthi)

“Save BSNL – Save Nation” campaign starts from today – Organise street corner meetings throughout the country.

As per the decision taken in the Ghaziabad CEC meeting, which has already been communicated vide CHQ circular no.04 dated 08.04.2019, “Save BSNL – Save Nation” campaign is to be conducted from today onwards, and upto 30-04-2019. Accordingly, street corner meetings should be organised throughout the country. The support of the people should be mobilised for the demands, which have already been raised for the revival of BSNL. Non-allotment of 4G spectrum to BSNL, pro-Reliance Jio policies of the government, our opposition to VRS, etc., should be highlighted prominently in the street corner meetings. Circle and district unions are requested to implement the programme effectively and send report to the CHQ.(BSNLEU Website)

Red Salute to Martyrs of Jallianwala Bagh!

More than 1000 persons were murdered at Jallianwala Bagh maidan on 13th April 1919 who have come to attend a protest demonstration against  the arrest of leaders of the freedom movement. The shooting and killing of the innocent people were ordered by the British General Dyer. This is the 100th anniversary of that massacre, which shook the entire world. They were martyrs of the freedom movement.
Red Salute to the Martyrs of Jallianwala Bagh!

Survival of BSNL most important for the BSNL recruitees.

Almost all the DOT officials, who absorbed in BSNL will be retiring by 2025. They will get government pension, whatever be the future challenges. But survival and strengthening is most important to the BSNL recruitees since they will be in service for about 20 years more. Their future is most important to the unions and associations. They are the future of the company.

Clearly discriminating against the new recruits, DOT and BSNL management wanted to break the unity of the workers. That is why the unions/associations are working hard to ensure justice to the BSNL recruitees. The central government has introduced the New Pension Scheme for all PSUs. It is also introduced to the state and central employees from 2004. NPS is nothing but No Pension Scheme in effect. That is why the Central Government employees have gone on strike demanding withdrawal of PFRDA and NPS.

In BSNL, the unions /associations are trying to get 30% pensionary benefits to the newly recruits, which was only 18% earlier. Now it is increased after sustained struggles, but not yet reached 30%. The struggle is going on. Immediate wage revision w.e.f. 01-01-2017 is another important demand which has to be settled urgently.

United struggles are required to settle these issues. The young generation has to come forward and lead the struggles along with the veterans. That will be the key to success.

VRS is a Trap to Kill BSNL and its workers – Do not fall prey to it.

The full form of VRS is Voluntary Retirement Scheme. But it is not voluntary. If, voluntary, how can the management propose VRS for 54,000 in BSNL. It is pressure tactics and cheating the workers. By delaying salary of February in almost all circles, the BSNL management is creating fear amongst the workers to opt for VRS. VRS is a loss to the worker. Promotion, Pension and other benefits will be adversely affected. No youngster is getting the jobs vacated, since the proposal will be that the post will go along with the person taking VRS. BSNL work is going to suffer. If the funds being utilised for VRS is spend for development and upgradation, BSNL will be strengthened.

It is not the number of workers that is making the company down. It is the adverse policy and favour to private and discrimination against BSNL. If this is stopped BSNL will improve and reach its past glory.

The same management which proposes VRS is keeping retired officers as consultants, which is a contradiction.

VRS is not voluntary, but compulsory in practice. What has happened in many PSUs shows, that after VRS, the next stop is privatisation. The corporates want that the workers are reduced before privatisation.

Those new recruits, some of whom support VRS, should know that once the VRS is success, the next step is privatisation, which will adversely affect the entire work force. Do not get trapped.

Allotment of 4 G Spectrum to BSNL – TRAI returns file to DOT.

It is understood that the TRAI has returned the file regarding the allotment of 4 G Spectrum stating that the DOT is to decide on the matter.The TRAI in a letter to the telecom department is stated to have said that the allocation of the spectrum to public-owned entities is an administrative matter and the government would be in the best position to dispose of the matter.

DOT refers the matter to TRAI and TRAI returns the same with out any recommendation. These are calculated moves to delay allocation of spectrum to BSNL. Delay is, in fact denial. Neither the government, nor DOT nor TRAI want to allot 4G Spectrum to BSNL. The Modi Government only wants to favour Reliance Jio and is only interested in closure or privatisation of BSNL.

It is high time that the government takes a favourable decision. Whenever BSNL is trying to come out of its difficulties, the centre, the owner of the company, always try to obstruct it.
Modi Government is a government of the corporates, by the corporates and for the corporates. It is against the people, it is against the PSUs and it is only for the MNCs and corporates.

The people of the country will certainly give hard hit to this government.