The Shah Commission has indicted Odisha govt. and others in powerful circle of causing loss of Rs 59203 crore by illegal minig allowed resulting in windfall gains to private companies.
New Delhi, January 31: Hundreds of peasants from Kerala, Maharashtra, Tamilnadu and Karnataka held a March and a massive Dharna at Jantar Mantar against the implementation of the Kasturirangan Committee Recommendations on Western Ghats. The Dharna was inaugurated by Hannan Mollah, General Secretary of All India Kisan Sabha. Amra Ram, President, AIKS presided over the meeting.
A Memorandum demanding that the implementation of the High Level Working Group recommendations be stopped and an Expert panel be formed including people’s representatives to come up with a Comprehensive Plan for Protection of Fragile Ecosystems and Livelihoods in Western Ghats was submitted to the Environment Ministry. Over 2.5 lakh signatures were collected from Kerala against the HLWG Recommendations which was also handed over to the Ministry. Delegates from Tamilnadu also came with resolutions against the recommendations passed by Gram Sabhas which will be handed over to the Government. This was a unique feature of the Protest which was a reflection of the mass resentment against the Government move to impose anti-peasant recommendations of the HLWG.
The Meeting was addressed by S.Ramachandran Pillai, Ex-President, AIKS, K.Varadha Rajan, Ex-General Secretary, AIKS, N.K.Shukla, Joint Secretary, AIKS, E.P.Jayarajan President, Kerala Karshaka Sangham, P.Shanmugham, General Secretary, Tamilnadu, Vivasayigal Sangham, Kishan Gujjar, General Secretary, Maharshtra Kisan Sabha, Yamuna Gaonkar, CITU Karnataka, Suneet Chopra, Joint Secretary, All India Agricultural Workers’ Union, Sivadasan, President, Students’ Federation of India among others. K.N.Balagopal, M.P, Rajya Sabha and P.K.Biju, M.P, Lok Sabha addressed the gathering and assured that they will take up the matter of HLWG Recommendations as well as the problems of the rubber farmers in the Parliament. P.Krishnaprasad, Finance Secretary, AIKS welcomed the gathering and Vijoo Krishnan, Joint Secretary; AIKS delivered the Vote of Thanks.
The Meeting resolved to take forward the fight with greater intensity until the demands are met.
The common people are happy with the increase of LPG quota from 9 to 12 announced by the Government. The UPA government was not happy to take such a decision, but the election year will see so many about-turn like this. The government was also compelled to assure that Adhar will not be mandated for providing subsidy.
And now comes the real culprits. The Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) has criticised the reversal of earlier decision. It stated that this is a retrograde decision. The Global Rating Agency ICRA has also criticised the same. Now one after another the corporate houses will pressurise the government to change the decision. While they get maximum concession and subsidies by the government, they can not tolerate even a small mercy towards the common people.
Forum of BSNL Unions/Associations have written again to Central Cabinet Ministers forwarding the Declaration of the National Convention on Revival of BSNL and MTNL and requesting to concede the demands of the BSNL MTNL organisations for strengthening the PSUs and making them profitable and to enable them to give better service to the customers.
Unions/Associations at field level are requested to meet the Members of Parliament in their area and urge them to support our cause and take the issue with the government, with information to General Secretaries and Forum
As was expected, none of the private telecom companies have withdrawn from the spectrum auction. All the companies which have registered for auction will participate.
They are Bharti Airtel Ltd, Vodafone, Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd, Idea Cellular Ltd, Telewings (Uninor), Reliance Communications Ltd, Tata Teleservices Ltd and Aircel Ltd. they are in race to bid for about 403 MHz of airwaves in 1,800 MHz band and 46 MHz spectrum in 900 MHz band.
The decision of the EGoM to charge 5% for the spectrum seems to have satisfied all. Compare this with the 3% recommended by TRAI. Almost all decisions of the TRAI seems to be pro-private.
Rajasthan became the second state to scrap the FDI decision in multiple-brand retail taken by the former Congress government. Delhi state government of AAP has already scrapped the FDI in multiple retail, immediately after it took over the reins.
The Rajasthan Government has written to Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma in this matter.
Anand Sharma, immediately after the Kejriwal Govt. has decided to scrap FDI has stated that the state government can not alter a decision taken earlier allowing FDI. Now that two states have scrapped FDI, it will have to be seen what decision the UPA government takes.
Though majority of the parties had opposed 51% FDI in multiple brand retail, the UPA government managed to get it passed in the Parliament. Now two state governments viz. Delhi ruled by AAP and Rajasthan ruled by BJP have scrapped the decision of the former congress governments. It is sure that more states may follow suit as it is well known that the retail merchants are strongly opposed to FDI as it will adversely affect about 4 crore of families.
It is better for the Central government to allow the state governments to take their own decision.
Copy of the letter sent by Forum of BSNL Unions/Associations to Communications Minister Shri Kapil Sibal is given below:
FORUM OF BSNL UNIONS/ASSOCIATIONS
D-7, TELEGRAPH PLACE, GOLE MARKET, NEW DELHI – 110001
Forum/GL 31st January 2014
Shri Kapil Sibal,
Member, EGoM on Revival of BSNL and MTNL
New Delhi – 110001
Sub: Revival of BSNL/MTNL – Pensionary Contribution from BSNL/MTNL to be on the basis of actual pay instead of maximum of the pay scale – requested
We are happy that the Government has considered the question of revival of BSNL and MTNL and an EGoM has been appointed of which you are also an important member which is examining the various aspects of reviving the two ailing PSUs. In this connection we would like to bring to your notice one most important issue, which if favourably considered, will give much financial relief to the PSUs, BSNL and MTNL.
The issue is about the payment of pensionary contribution that is to be paid to the government by the BSNL and MTNL for the DOT employees who have been absorbed in BSNL and MTNL. In the case of BSNL employees, it was part of the agreement that pension will be paid by the Government and that pension contribution for the employees will have to be paid by BSNL to Government. In the case of MTNL absorbed employees, the government has now decided the same formula.
But the pension contribution to be paid by the BSNL and MTNL is calculated in an unjust manner. The BSNL and MTNL are directed to pay on the basis of the maximum of the pay scale of the employee, instead of his/her actual pay. In the case of government employees on deputation, the government orders are that the pension contribution is to be paid on the basis of the actual pay. This should be the criteria for the payment of pension contribution by BSNL and MTNL also. By paying on the maximum of the pay scale, these loss making PSUs are compelled to pay many hundreds of crores of rupees extra
In order to reduce the loss of the companies and also to equalise the pension contributions in the case of deputation of government employees, we request that the EGoM/Government may kindly take a decision to reduce the pension contribution by directing that it should be paid on the basis of the actual pay instead of the maximum of the pay scale.
An early favourable decision in the matter will be highly appreciated.
Com. S.C.Bhattacharjee, All India Treasurer and Circle Secretary Chhattisgarh of BSNLEU is retiring on superannuation on today, 31st January 2014. Joined in the P and T Department in February 1976, he has almost completed a meritorious service of about 38 years including both in DOT and BSNL.
His contributions to the All India Union as well as to the M.P. and Chhattisgarh Circle, as Circle secretary in the latter since its formation, are well known. He organised many struggles and led many struggles for the cause of the workers. He is loved by all for his simple life, friendship and progressive outlook.
Revolutionary Greetings and Best Wishes to Com.Bhattacharjee at the time of his retirement. This is a Reception to you for more activities in the days to come.
31 January 1943 will not be forgotten by anyone who has gone through the history of II World War. It was on this day that Hitler had his first major defeat in the II WW and which changed history and saved the world from the scourge of nazism and Fascism.
The axis forces of Hitler of Germany, Emperor Hirohito of Japan and Mussolini of Italy were advancing everywhere against the allied forces of US, Britain and USSR. The start of the IIWW saw Hitler attacking the nearby countries, the Britain and France etc. But the main enemy of the axis forces was the socialist country USSR. The German Army with lakhs of military and air force attacked USSR and captured a large portion of the country. The Red Army and the people fought with all their might.It was in Stalingrad that the most fiercest battle was fought. Major portion of Stalingrad was taken by the German Army.
Losing Stalingrad would have been a crucial victory for Germans and certain defeat for the young socialist country. The German military was far superior in numbers, equipment, armour and firing power. More than 2 lakh military and Air force personnel were employed by Hitler. Reinforcement was coming from the back lines. Though in lesser numbers and less armour The Red Army was committed and determined to fight to the last man, the last drop of blood to defend their beloved country. The people also was determined to defend their Soviet Country. Inch by inch, street by street they fought with the enemy and pushed them back. The defence of Stalingrad continued for months. At last the German army was surrounded. In these few months alone more than 2 lakh soldiers from both sides were killed in action. At last on 31st January, the German Army at Stalingrad had no other course, but to surrender.
It was the turning point in the II World War. The Red Army recaptured the soviet land, which has been captured and ravaged by the German Army and pushed them back to Germany and at last to Berlin, the capital of Germany. On 2n May 1945, the Red Army captured Berlin and hoisted the Red Flag there. The world was saved from the Nazi terror.
We can not imagine, what if the Nazi army was not defeated at Stalingrad! On this day, 71 years after the historic Defence of Stalingrad, my Red Salutes to the lakhs of Red Army and ordinary people who through their ultimate sacrifice have saved the world.
It is reported that the Government is proposing to form a separate company for its tower business. BSNL has at present 61,622 towers scattered all over the country, which is the second largest. More towers are expected to be installed. The move is intended to probably to give it on rent/sharing and get some revenue.
This move will clearly reduce the revenue of the company. Another matter is about the employees. Many employees in BSNL will be required to be transferred to the new company. Most of them will be DOT employees already once transferred/absorbed in BSNL and whose service conditions etc. are changed once. Another transfer will create further trouble.
Further no discussion has taken place with the recognised unions or the Forum of the BSNL Unions/Associations in this matter. The move to form a tower company bifurcating will be suicidal for BSNL and its employees.
This proposal has to be opposed and defeated.