The pension revision of BSNL retirees from 01-01-2017 stands frozen now. But why? The Hon’ble Minister of Communications and the Secretary, Department of Telecommunications had given categorical assurance for pension revision delinking wage revision in the discussion had with AUAB on 2nd and 3rd December, 2018. But the DoT has not initiated any action on it and are still pursuing for pension revision after wage revision. How can the buerocracy dare to take such a stand without the support of the government.? Yes, it is a treacherous game plan being enacted by both the government and the dominant section of buerocracy in DoT. Is it an isolated issue.? Certainly not. In the same meeting with AUAB, the Minister had given some other assurances also,viz, wage revision, 4G spectrum to BSNL, Pension contribution on actual pay instead of maximum of the pay scale. None of these have been implemented so far and the entire BSNL employees had to go for a three days strike from 18th February, 2019 against the cheating..

Meanwhile BSNL was pushed back to an acute situation that the salary to the employees for February , 2019 had to be deferred. It is no secret that Reliance Jio is allowed by the government to operate freely with predatory pricing violating the rules and license provisions.ever since its launching in September, 2016. This has virtually put the entire telecom sector to great crisis and all the service providers are incurring huge losses. The aim of Mukesh Ambani, the richest corporate in India and owner of Reliance Jio is to dominate the telecom service sector by grabbing the customers of other companies and to increase the market share and revenue share to 50%.. However, BSNL is the only operator resisting the Reliance Jio to a great extent with comparitively less liability. This has embarassed Mukesh Ambani and is pressurising the Modi government to eliminate BSNL from the telecom sector and naturally the government has to oblige as it is the government for the corporates . This is the real backgound for the present created crisis in BSNL.This is nothing but part of the anti-PSU policy of Modi government, another glaring example seen recently is ignoring the reputed Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd in the corrupt Rafale deal for the sake of Anil Ambani’s company.

The cheating of workers and pensioners is nothing new and the on the contrary has become the hallmark of Modi government. The retrograde recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission was implemented unilaterally by Modi government against which an indefinite strike from 11th July, 2016 was declared by the Joint Action Council of Central government organisations. The Modi government was thus compelled for a negotiation with the JAC on 30-06-2016 and the Group of Ministers headed by Home Minister Rajnath Singh gave assurances on increased minimum pay and fitment, Option 1 (Parity in pension), the only positive recommendation for the pensioners and increase in medical allowance. But the government did not honour its commitment and central government employees and pensioners were cheated. Despite sustained struggles, Modi government has not done anything on the New Contributory Pension Scheme which is proved now to be a No Pension Scheme.

Modi government during its five year term never wanted to concede any of the demands of the workers, put forward by the Central Trade Unions against which many struggles including nation wide strikes were conducted. Labour laws were amended to suit the interests of the employers and the fixed term job amendment is nothing short of enslaving the workers. The farmers and agricultural workers were also compelled to wage several struggles against non-implementation of assurances and the worsening situation in the farm sector. Now the people are convinced enough as to how the adverse impacts of the neo-liberal policies being implemented vigorously by the Modi government have affected their life.

It is pertinent to mention here about the hollow promises given by the BJP during the last Lok Sabha elections in 2014; Rs.15 lakh to the bank account of every Indian, 2 crore jobs every year, Petrol @ Rs.40 per litre etc. In addition to these enormous damage is done to the secular fabric and communal harmony of the country during the last five years. Constitutional institutions are filled with ‘yes men’.; even judiciary is not spared. Now, we have to think very seriously what will be our future if the same BJP is voted to power? No doubt,it will be a complete disaster. The need of the hour is a secular and democratic government in the country which will have an alternate policy focusing on the welfare of the poor and common people.. So let us be careful while utilizing the franchise in the ensuing general elections. (Telepensioner Editorial)