The Department of Pension and Pensioners Welfare (DoP&PW) has rejected the proposal for making ex-gratia payment for the BSNL employees who opt for VRS. The DoP&PW has stated that the BSNL employees are eligible for payment of government pension after retirement. As such, payment of ex-gratia for those who go on VRS is not permissible, said the DoP&PW. It has also stated that payment of ex-gratia under VRS is eligible only for the Public Sector employees who are not eligible for government pension. An important observation of the DoP&PW is that, surplus employees in BSNL if any, can be taken back by the DoT. (BSNLEU website)
The full form of VRS is Voluntary Retirement Scheme. But it is not voluntary. If, voluntary, how can the management propose VRS for 54,000 in BSNL. It is pressure tactics and cheating the workers. By delaying salary of February in almost all circles, the BSNL management is creating fear amongst the workers to opt for VRS. VRS is a loss to the worker. Promotion, Pension and other benefits will be adversely affected. No youngster is getting the jobs vacated, since the proposal will be that the post will go along with the person taking VRS. BSNL work is going to suffer. If the funds being utilised for VRS is spend for development and upgradation, BSNL will be strengthened.
It is not the number of workers that is making the company down. It is the adverse policy and favour to private and discrimination against BSNL. If this is stopped BSNL will improve and reach its past glory.
The same management which proposes VRS is keeping retired officers as consultants, which is a contradiction.
VRS is not voluntary, but compulsory in practice. What has happened in many PSUs shows, that after VRS, the next stop is privatisation. The corporates want that the workers are reduced before privatisation.
Those new recruits, some of whom support VRS, should know that once the VRS is success, the next step is privatisation, which will adversely affect the entire work force. Do not get trapped.
It is understood that the TRAI has returned the file regarding the allotment of 4 G Spectrum stating that the DOT is to decide on the matter.The TRAI in a letter to the telecom department is stated to have said that the allocation of the spectrum to public-owned entities is an administrative matter and the government would be in the best position to dispose of the matter.
DOT refers the matter to TRAI and TRAI returns the same with out any recommendation. These are calculated moves to delay allocation of spectrum to BSNL. Delay is, in fact denial. Neither the government, nor DOT nor TRAI want to allot 4G Spectrum to BSNL. The Modi Government only wants to favour Reliance Jio and is only interested in closure or privatisation of BSNL.
It is high time that the government takes a favourable decision. Whenever BSNL is trying to come out of its difficulties, the centre, the owner of the company, always try to obstruct it.
Modi Government is a government of the corporates, by the corporates and for the corporates. It is against the people, it is against the PSUs and it is only for the MNCs and corporates.
The people of the country will certainly give hard hit to this government.
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)
Modi government never cared for the central pensioners. It seems that the government is of the opinion that the pensioners are a burden on the nation and has to be denied even the basic requirement that a pensioner requires.
The VII Central Pay Commission recommended that ‘One Rank, One Pension’ system, which was already implemented for the retired army personnel, be implemented to other central pensioners also. The Modi Government, to deny any improvement in the recommendations, have stated that the CPC is an award and it can not be improved. But in the case of pensioners, why the recommended One Rank One Pension is not being implemented?
Pension Revision is to be implemented to the BSNL absorbed DOT pensioners w.e.f. 01-01-2017, after 10 years of the Pension Revision implemented in 2007. But it is refusing to implement the Pension Revision, causing much anguish and agony to the concerned pensioners.
The demand of the NCCPA to introduce the statutory benefit pension scheme to those newly recruited since 2004 ( in the case of BSNL recruitees from 2000) instead of the NPS, has not been accepted by the government. (It is to be noted here that the Kerala LDF government has appointed a committee to look in to the conversion of NPS introduced for the kerala state employees by the UDF government in 2013 back to statutory benefit pension scheme. )
While the LDF Government in Kerala is paying Social Security Pension of Rs. 1,200 to all those who completed 60 years and has no other pension, the BJP ( as also the Congress ) led governments are paying a meagre amount of Rs. 200 – 400 only as such social security pension.
Please see that even the respected elder leaders in BJP have been ignored and insulted. That is BJP.
Yes, there is a big difference between the BJP/Congress governments and the Left Front government with their approach to the issues of the pensioners.
The Lok Sabha elections are going on. This is the time teach the Modi government a hard lesson that pensioners will not be silent against attack on them. Vote for the Left, wherever they are there. Vote for the other secular parties where Left candidates are not there.
The defeat of the BJP in this election is a must for the better existence of the pensioners and senior citizens in the country.
It is understood that some DOT officers are thinking of converting the pension revision in to the CDA pattern as suggested by certain pension organisations to the Minister and the DOT. This is completely unacceptable. We had pointed out earlier that requests for pension revision on the basis of VII CPC will be utilised by the government and administration to trap the pensioners and compel them to accept the CDA scales as recommended by the VII CPC. It is also reported that the benefit of IDA pension revision got as per II PRC also is in danger.
I am quoting from the post in the website of the Pensioners’ Association with regard to their meeting with DOT Officers:
“We made out a point that DOT Establishment section is not taking the required action. In DOT, if anyone feels that the hike given to us at the time of absorption and according to 2nd PRC isto be adjusted in future revisions , we will not allow it. We should continue to draw higher Pension for all the times to come.”
We had from the start mentioned that the demand for Pension revision on the basis of VII CPC will be cunningly utilised by the government to change the pension revision on CDA basis. The present report indicates that the danger is real.
We strongly oppose this move of the DOT to revise the pension on the CDA pattern as recommended by the VII CPC. We also request the associations which requested for pension revision on the basis of VII CPC to refrain from pressing the demand, seeing the the trap in which they are being put by the DOT and the loss in pension if the proposal is accepted.
BSNL officers, employees and casual contract workers are now facing an unprecedented attack on their jobs, wages and livelyhood. For the first time in its 18 years of existence the payment of salary for BSNL officers and employees were delayed by two weeks.Contract workers have not been paid wages for more than three months.
The workers under the leadership of All Unions Associations of BSNL (AUAB) as also BSNL Casual and Contract Workers Federation are on sustained struggle including strike to make the govt to settle their demands urgently. In the Charter of Demands, in addition to wage revision and pension revision, demands for the allotment of 4G spectrum, pensionary benefits of BSNL recruitees, DOT approval for taking loan, suggestions for improvement of BSNL services – all are there. Massive protest demonstrations, rallies, one Two Days Strike, another Three Days Strike – all have been successfully organised.
Some comrades feel that the leaders are responsible for the present complicated situation. But it is not a fact.These comrades are completely mistaken. Unfortunately many of them are not members of any union and have not participated in the struggle. Had they been union members and participants of these mighty struggles, they would have been fully convinced about the struggles undertaken and appreciated the leadership.
Who are then responsible for the present unenviable situation.It is neither the workforce nor their unions. It is the antiworker, anti- PSU policy of the ruling parties and governments headed by them. Public Sector Units were formed immediately after Independence to start infrastructure as also to develop industries in the various core sectors, which the Indian corporates were unable to do.The PSUs employed lakhs of workers, strengthened the finance of the country and gave valuable service to the people.
The situation completely changed by the end 1980s.The neo-liberal policy initiated in the 1900s were clearly intended to weaken the PSUs and allow corporates to take over.It was at this stage that telecommunication was opened up for private companies, BSNL and MTNL were denied mobile services etc.
BSNL was formed with the intention of closing or privatising it. The govt took many steps in this direction, but the united struggle under Forum, Joint Forum, AUAB etc defeated each of them. They could not implement one lakh VRS, disinvestment, unbundling of copper cables etc due to continued strugggle by workers. The govt is favouring private companies and grant them all cocessions. BSNL is continuously discriminated.
BSNL was having Rs.40,000 crore safely in PSU banks, Rs. 8000 to 12000 crore annual profit with good divident being paid to govt. Despite delay in getting mobile services it was reaching to first position, when the tender for 4 .5 crore mobile was cancelled by govt. One after another developments took place, the govt discriminating BSNL and favouring private companies. The latest open favouritism to Reliance Jio, going to the extend of Prime Minieter Modi’s photo used in Jio’s advertisement. Never the PM stood in sipport for BSNL.
All the telecom sector PSUs, ITI, Hindustan Cables, VSNL etc were either privatised, closed or made sick and the workers lost their jobs. 46% shares have been sold in MTNL. The workers in BSNL stood together, fought together and defeated the foul game of the govt .till now.
All the telecom companies are in huge loss dud to the predatory charges started by Reliance Jio, with the overt and covert support of Govt. The loss to the private companies like Idea,Vodafone, Airtel etc. are more than one lakh crore. The loss to Reliance Jio will be more than that, though it claim profit by manipulating accounts. BSNL in loss about Rs.13,000 crore which is less than others. Private companies are allowed to take huge loans from banks despite their loss, but BSNL is not allowed to take loan from banks for development as also for paying salary. Govt and DOT is creating such a situation to frighten the employees and compel them to take VRS and leave to trim the organisation for taking over by the private companies.
Wage revision and pension revision is not implemented on the plea that the company is in loss. Though govt was compelled to delink wage and pension revision, the pension revision as implemented in 2007 as per II PRC, is not implemented as per III PRC from 2017.( some confusion was created by some comrades demanding pension revision on CDA scales as per VII CPC which will have disastrous results). The NCCPA, AIBDPA, AUAB and most of the workers and pensioners organisations took the correct stand and organised strikes, Parliament March,Fast etc, the latest which was on 25th March participated by thoudands.
Elections are announced and it has been decided by these organisations to meet all the present MPs, MP candidates, Ministers, leaders of political parties etc demanding implementation of assurances given at the time of formation of BSNL by financially and otherwise supporting BSNL, implementing wage revision and pension revision without delay, pensionary benefits of new recruits, regularisation of casual labour, allotment of 4G Spectrum etc etc.The struggle will continue till success.
In the meantime some comrades, who are non-members and non-participants in the struggle started a whishpering campaign against the unions and their leaders, who have fought and won much for the workers and pensioners. We request these comrades to become members of unions and be participants in the long and hard battle to save BSNL, its workers, labours and pensioners.
Our struggle will continue. We are sure that we will succeed. No struggle has been in vain, though the result may not be there immediately. History has proved it.
STRUGGLE FOR UNITY, UNITY FOR STRUGGLE & UNITY AND STRUGGLE FOR PROGRESS!
According to the decision of Chennai National Executive, an Fasting Dharna was organised by NCCPA at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi on 15-03-2019 demanding settlement of the ten important demands, including Option 1, Pension Revision of BSNL retirees with 15% fitment delinking wage revision, Rs.2000 monthly medical allowance etc. Com.Shiv Gopal Mishra, Chairman, NCCPA and Secretary, Staff Side JCM inaugurated. Coms.K K N Kuttyu, Secretary General, NCCPA, V A N Namboodiri, Patron, NCCPA, R N Parashar, Secretary General, NFPE, K G Jayaraj, General Secretary, AIBDPA, K Ragavendran, General Secretary, AIPRPA and a host of leaders addressed and exposed the anti-pensioner and anti-worker policies of the Modi government. The participation of pensioners was huge and AIBDPA could participate the entire comrades who were part of the Sanchar Bhawan March.
Comrades from far off circles have started their journey to New Delhi to participate in the Sanchar Bhawan March on 15-03-2019. The agitation was decided by the Kolkata AIC against the complete negative stand of DoT on pension revision with 15% fitment, delinking wage revision, as assured by the Communications Minister in the discussion had with AUAB on 03-12-2018.
All the participating comrades are requested to assemble at Eastern Court at 0930 so that we can statrt the March at 1000hrs.
LET US JOIN IN HUNDREDS AND MAKE IT A GRAND SUCCESS. FINALLY, VICTORY SHALL BE OURS..
After the Sanchar Bhawan March the entire comrades will join the Fasting Dharna of NCCPA at Jantar Mantar.
The Kolkata All India Conference has taken a very important decision on negative stand of the government on pension revision. The Minister of Communications,Shri.Manoj Sinha had given a categorical assurance to the AUAB leaders to the effect that Pension will be delinked from the wage revision and early action taken for the same. But DoT officers are still for pension revision after wage revision, posing themselves as super ministers. So it is a drama being enacted to deny and delay the Pension Revision.
The AIC has taken serious note of this violation and decided for an impressive protest action in the form of SANCHAR BHAWAN MARCH on 15-03-2019. The March will start at 0930 from Eastern Court and after the March we will join the NCCPA Fast at Jantar Mantar at 1100.
The Conference has unanimously elected a 27 member office bearers and the following are the important functionaries;
Advisor : Com.V A N Namboodiri.
Patron.: Com. P V Chandrasekharan
President : Com. A K Bhattacharjee
General Secretary : Com. K G Jayaraj
Treasurer: Com.R A Nair.