Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), the telecom PSU, has completed 16 years of committed service to the people of this country.
It was on 1st October 2000 that BSNL was formed by separating the service portion from the Department of Telecom. It was against the wish of the employees, but leaders of the three federations agreed for the same on certain assurances from the government.
The first 6-7 years saw the continued growth of BSNL surpassing the private telecom companies, one after another, despite the fact that the latter were granted licence to provide mobile services more than 6 years earlier.The revenue increased up to Rs.40,000 crore, the profit more than Rs.10,000 crore and many new connections increasing every month. This was not to the liking of the private companies and corporates as also the government. The government stopped procurement of equipments by BSNL to provide connections for which there was huge demand, took away all the funds of BSNL on one pretext or another and provided all assistance to the private companies. BSNL did not collapse completely only due to the committed workforce which through sustained struggles and hard work kept BSNL alive and growing.
After four years of loss, BSNL has got operational profit in 2014-15 which increased in 2015-16 to Rs. 3,000 crore. Still the company is in loss due to the depreciation of about Rs.3,000 crore. The programmes like ‘Customer Delight Month”, ‘Service With A Smile’ etc. initiated by the BSNLEU and Forum and co-ordinated by BSNL Management as also special packets like ‘free night service’ has gradually made the company better and will be profitable by 2018.
But the government continues its anti-PSU policy. On the basis of the report of the Niti-Ayog, government is moving for the strategic sale of BSNL and MTNL. The BJP government wants to close/sell all the PSUs to repay and satisfy the corporates who supported them and donated in the elections.
But the workers will never allow the government to implement its black agenda. 2nd September 2016 strike has been a strict warning to the government.
The number of employees have been reduced since formation of BSNL from 3,50,000 to 2,10,000 due to non-recruiting of staff in the large number of vacancies resulted by retirement.
BSNL Employees Union, which has been the recognised union from 2004 onwards has taken initiative to organise the executive and non-executive unions under the JAC/ Joint Forum / Forum and fought many battles to keep BSNL alive and to strengthen it. Unfortunately, the Forum is divided now, with NFTE forming another Forum. Separate agitations are being organised for the same demands. Top leaders of all the unions have to discuss and come together as earlier to fight for the revival of BSNL .
when the BSNL and workers celebrate the 16th anniversary of the the telecom PSU, they are faced with many challenges. It is only through the united struggles of the workers and continuous vigil that BSNL can be brought back to its past glory. Let all the workers and the management dedicate themselves to this noble task. UNITY FOR STRUGGLE, STRUGGLE FOR UNITY AND STRUGGLE AND UNITY FOR PROGRESS!
On this 16th anniversary of the formation of BSNL, we convey our Warm Greetings to all! Let us continue our struggle for better service to the people and safeguarding the interests of the BSNL workers, Pensioners and contract workers, who are the backbone of the company!