Meeting with CMD BSNL on 27-05-2008 on future of BSNL

Com. V.A.N.Namboodiri Convener, JF along with representatives of 13 unions/associations in BSNL met CMD BSNL Kuldeep Goyal on 27-05-2008.
At the outset, the Convener expressed the JF’s grave concern over the undue delay in the supply of GSM equipment, due to which BSNL is unable to provide new connections and also the quality of services of BSNL is sharply coming down. Market share of BSNL has sharply declined from 47.69% to 24.74% from 31-03-2005 to 31-03-2008. Immediate purchase of GSM equipment is required.

CMD BSNL stated as follows: Total connections in the country are 310 million, out of which BSNL share is 76 million. BSNL share comes to 24%. 2.2 million landlines of BSNL were surrendered in the last financial year, which is 7.5% of its total landlines. BSNL has given 7.8 million mobile connections, 1 million WLL connections and more than 1 million Broadband connections in the last financial year. Out of the 3.8 million Broadband connections in the country 2 million are BSNL connections. Last year, BSNL has increased its market share In BB from 42% to more than 50%. As regards this year’s expansion of GSM lines, supply of equipment for 35 million lines has already started. Out of this North, West and East zones will get 10 million lines each and South zone will get 5 million. A new global tender is already floated to procure 93 million GSM lines. The tender bids will be opened on 15th July 2008. Out of this, North, West and South zones will get 25 million lines each and East zone will get 18 million. These 93 million lines will cater the requirement of BSNL for the next three years.

Surrender of Landlines

CMD BSNL also informed the JF leaders that 2.2 million landlines were surrendered in the last financial year, which comes to 7.5% of BSNL’s total landlines. He also pointed out that no landline is being surrendered in China which is having 10 times of connections that India has. Even in our country, in places like Kerala and Bangalore, no landline reduction is taking place. He further pointed out that in 45 SSAs, we have 1+ lakh capacity which should be utilized for our landline growth.

In response to the remarks of the CMD, the JF leaders made the following suggestions: 1. The tariff for our landline service should be revised. The present tariff of 3 minute per call can be revised to one minute per call. This will help to arrest the surrender to a great extent. For instance, the surrender of BSNL’s PCOs has been stopped with the change in tariffs, at par with the private companies. 2. The quality of our landline instruments is not good compared to the instruments of private operators. Hence, the present instruments should be replaced with good quality instruments. 3. The quality of our landline service is badly affected due to the damaging of our cables by the private operators. To tide over the problem, the CEO of the company which damages the cable should be sued against. 4. To boost up BSNL’s marketing, door to door canvassing should be done by BSNL employees. Such an aggressive marketing should be organized in every SSA by the local administration.
CMD BSNL appreciated the above proposals and assured that needful will be done. (To be continued).