Protest against abolition of ADC
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has been continuously and arbitrarily reducing the Access Deficit Charge (ADC) which is the collection from the private telecom operators and to be given to BSNL for loss making connections in the villages as per the assurances of the government at the time of corporatization. Year after year the ADC was being reduced and the same was completely stopped from 01-04-2008 on the pressure from the private operators. This reduction was certain to seriously and adversely affect the financial viability of BSNL. Hence the Joint Forum strongly protested the TRAI decision and organized demonstration on 3rd April 2008 all over India, demanding restoration of ADC.
Merger of 50% IDA with pay – Lunch hour demonstrations
Even after the IDA crossed 50%, it was not merged with pay as required. As per the call of the Joint Forum, Lunch Hour demonstrations were held on 13-05-2008 at Circle, SSA levels and corporate office demanding immediate merger of IDA.
Meeting with Secretary DOT on 22-05-2008
The Joint Forum leaders met Secretary DOT Sidharth Behura on 22-05-2008 and discussed the following issues:
ITS Absorption: The delay in the absorption of ITS officers was pointed out by the JF leaders. Secretary DOT replied that the Cabinet Note on this issue has been returned with some queries. The matter will be seriously perused.
BSNL’s Pension Contribution (60% – 40% issue): DOT Secretary agreed with the Forum that such conditions are not necessary. He stated that a Cabinet Note on the same is approved by the minister and will be submitted to the cabinet.
Restoration of ADC: Secretary DOT stated that DOT is taking action for changing the guide lines of the USO Fund to give financial assistance to BSNL to the tune of Rs. 2,000 crore per annum, as has been recommended by the TRAI, in lieu of ADC.
Navaratna Status to BSNL: The JF leaders expressed their concerns on the extreme delay in awarding Navaratna status to BSNL. Secretary DOT stated that DPE has already recommended and the issue is waiting for the final decision of the apex body.
Allotment of 3G Spectrum to BSNL: Joint Forum demanded that BSNL should be allotted 3G Spectrum on priority basis as has already been stated by the Communications Minister. Secretary DOT stated that as per the assurance of the Minister, BSNL will be allotted with one slot in the 3G Spectrum.
Delay in 50% IDA Merger: The JF leaders drew the attention of the Secretary to the undue delay in issuing the orders on the IDA merger with pay by the BSNL even after the approval by DOT. Secretary DOT assured that he will speak to CMD BSNL. (To be continued)