We have to congratulate both the BSNL Management and the Unions for the starting of the wage negotiations for non-executives in BSNL. The first meeting was held today. Continuous sittings of the meeting is necessary for an early agreement. Best Wishes!
At last, after a lapse of more than one and half years, the wage negotiation for BSNL non-executives starts tomorrow. Sustained agitational programmes were organised, including strike, to compel the Management and the DOT to agree for negotiation, who were refusing the same on the plea that BSNL is in loss for the last three years. But at last the BSNL management has conceded for discussion and DOT had also given approval. Hard bargain is unavoidable. The representatives from the staff side are eight with five from BSNLEU and three from NFTE.
Let us hope for a good agreement.
After sustained agitations, strike and meeting with the Communications Minister by the AUAB, the wage negotiation committee has been formed and the wage negotiation is expected to start from 20th July 2018. The wage revision is due from 01-01-2017. One and half years have already passed. As such, the BSNL management should take up the matter seriously and ensure that the negotiation is reached its logical conclusion as already demanded by the AUAB. (Courtesy: BSNLEU website)
After much protest and persuasion, the BSNL Management has restored the Medical Allowance without voucher for out-door treatment. But the management has reduced the quantum. This is not acceptable.
The Management should restore the Medical Allowance for pensioners as earlier. Otherwise it will be treated as an insult and against senior citizens as provided in the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act 2007.
AIBDPA General Secretary has already taken up the case with the CMD BSNL.
State-run telco, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has given a contract to NEC Technologies India to build an optical submarine cable system between Chennai and the Andaman & Nicobar Islands. Under the deal, NEC will manufacture the optical submarine cable and provide technical assistance during the turnkey implementation.
The contract is for a system that includes a segment with repeaters from Chennai to Port Blair and seven segments without repeaters between the islands of Havelock, Little Andaman (Hutbay), Car Nicobar, Kamorta, the Great Nicobar Islands, Long Island and Rangat. The total cable length will be approximately 2,300km and carry 100Gb/s optical waves.
The cable system will provide the A&N Islands with sufficient bandwidth for supporting voice and data connectivity that enable the implementation of e-Governance initiatives, such as the establishment of enterprises and e-commerce facilities. The system will also assist educational institutes in the sharing of knowledge and will play a significant role in driving the “Digital India” vision, a campaign launched by the Government of India to ensure that Government services are made available to citizens electronically.
“BSNL is pleased to select NEC for implementing this prestigious project. We trust NEC for the technological edge they hold in the domain and their commitment to adherence of timelines to ensure successful completion of the project. This project will enable much needed high capacity connectivity with the Andaman Islands and usher a new era of development for the region,” said Anupam Shrivastava, Chairman, and Managing Director BSNL.
Courtesy: Economic Times)
A report in the press regarding the financial position of BSNL and MTNL is given.Both the PSUs are in the list of NITI Ayog for privatisation or closure. The full responsibility of the loss and decline is only the result of the government to favour private telecom companies and downgrade telecom PSUs. The government which can ensure loans and concessions to the extent of thpusands of crores of rupees to Adani and Ambani has no inclination to help its own companies. Hence the present situation. The report in the press is given below:
“The prime minister’s office and the department of telecom have discussed a survival mechanism for telecom PSUs BSNL and MTNL whose revenue, market share and subscriber base continue to erode.
According to sources, under the plan 4G spectrum worth Rs 13,000 crore could be allotted to them shortly and the more vulnerable MTNL can hope to get about Rs 1,100 crore from the Centre for a fresh VRS package.
Official sources said the situation is more serious for MTNL as the listed entity is almost on the verge of breaking down, completely surviving on bank working capital loans for operations expenditure.
A few decisions are expected shortly and things could be expedited now onwards, sources said, adding that the prime minister’s office (PMO) has shown interest and concern over telecom PSUs, may be after the failure of Air India disinvestment.
Competition from private telcos, especially Jio, is breathing down their necks. As per an estimate, BSNL and MTNL need about Rs 18,000 crore immediate fund infusion for their continued operations, which includes 4G spectrum if government issues fresh equity in them.
Both the PSUs have sought 4G spectrum partly through equity routes which make the cost of spectrum for MTNL at Rs 6,500 crore for 10 Mhz in Delhi in 1800 band and 5Mhz in Mumbai in 2100 band.
BSNL needs 5 Mhz in 2,100 band for rest of India operations which too comes to about Rs 6,500 crore as 50 per cent of the cost of spectrum and the rest of the spectrum cost is expected to be covered through government equity.
While BSNL meets its opex and capex through borrowings and service revenues, MTNL needs government support for meeting working capital needs. It also needs Rs 2,800 crore interest amount reimbursement on an old loan taken for spectrum and Rs 1,100 crore for financing a VRS for 5,000 employees.
MTNL has a bloating staff strength of 30,000, while BSNL has over 2 lakh employees. The financials of MTNL is so bad that it is carrying on with working capital loans on a government guarantee.
MTNL had told DoT that it is operating under three main constraints — a high manpower numbering 25,000, a Rs 17,500-crore loan burden and lack of investment in the last seven years.
To tackle the manpower problem, MTNL had suggested the government to fund its VRS programme as and when it takes place since the majority of this 25,000 staff is from the DoT. The PSU has worked out that for offering voluntary retirement to 5,000 employees, it will need at least Rs 1,100 crore,
The PSU is saddled with a debt of Rs 17,500 crore, out of which the interest component is Rs 1,450 crore. MTNL had earlier written to the DoT to allow it to carve out the land &and buildings and the debt so that the MTNL balance sheet becomes debt-free, without putting any burden on the exchequer.
Air India, MTNL and BSNL are among the top five loss making PSUs in the DPE list.
MTNL’s debt stands at a staggering Rs 17,000 crore and its annual interest burden is close to Rs 1,450 crore. Bruised by competition from private sector players, MTNL’s losses stood at Rs 2,893 crore in 2014-15, Rs 2,005 crore in 2015-16, and Rs 2,970 crore in 2016-17.
Telecom minister Manoj Sinha, in a written reply to the Lok Sabha in February had pointed out that both BSNL and MTNL have been incurring losses for a number of years, and therefore have been declared as incipient sick according to the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) guidelines.
BSNL’s revenues in FY17 declined to Rs 31,533 crore against Rs 32,411 crore. The PSU was hoping to turn the corner by being profitable in 2018- 19, which is now shifted to 2019-20, if it starts 4G services and the competition eases. Its net loss marginally narrowed to Rs 4,793 crore against Rs 4,859 crore in the previous fiscal..
The accumulated loss of BSNL has now swelled to over Rs 36,000 crore ($6 billion), with the company making losses since 2009-10.
While MTNL has a negative market share with subscribers declining every quarter, BSNL’s market share in mobile market is 10 per cent.”
The Department of Telecom (DOT) has published the Draft of the “National Digital Communications Policy – 2018” a few days back. This is in continuation of its National Telecom Policy- 1994, National Telecom Policy – 1999 and NTP – 2012.
All the earlier NTPs have been approved with the intention of bringing private corporates in the telecom sector and weaken the government/public sector telecom. The new Policy, which is not NTP, but named “National Digital Communications Policy – 2018” is also in the same direction. There is no much assistance to the PSUs, BSNL or MTNL. There is no provision to give 4G / 5G to them. High words are used, but it all amounts to favouring the private corporates.
With BSNL and MTNL in the field, India is providing one of the cheapest service in the world. Destroy these PSUs, the people will have to pay at least ten times for the service being provide to them. The wolves and hyenas, the MNCs, are waiting their time for finishing the PSUs, with the tacit support of the government. It will be a catastrophe for the entire population of this great country. A serious struggle and movement by the workers with the support of the people alone is the remedy.
NITI Ayog has now recommended selling of MTNL as also forming a separate ‘Subsidiary Tower Company’ by hiving of the towers of the MTNL. The recommendation as reported in the Times of India (26-05-2018) is reproduced below:
“The panel (NITI Aayog), headed by economist Rajiv Kumar has also recommended that government should begin selling assets in MTNL, once a top state-run company, which is now the third-biggest loss maker behind BSNL and Air India. The proposal is to hive off the telecom PSU’s towers into a separate company and sell off the entity. An outright stake sale has not been proposed, given the large real estate holdings.”
Demolishing the Planning Commission, which has been the instrument for planning the developments of the country, the Modi government had constituted NITI Ayog for the demolition of the PSUs. The latter is doing its work well by recommending the closure or privatisation of the PSUs one after another. BSNL, the biggest loss making PSU as per the above reference of NITI Ayog, is certainly in its list for closure / privatisation, but the united protest of the workers has made it to keep the secret within itself.
The danger of privatisation is hanging on the heads of the workers of the BSNL and MTNL. The entire workers of these two Telecom PSUs, the executives, the non-executives and the top management of ITS officers should join together to save the companies and themselves. The danger is real and imminent. The corporates and MNCs are pressing for the closure/privatisation of BSNL and MTNL which are the obstruction and block for their increasing the charges for telecom services, as the increase in the petrol/ diesel prices. A massive campaign through out the country is required, the support of the common people is important and mighty united struggle required to defeat the nefarious plan of the government.
Then E.III (N) Union and a few other unions put strong protest and went on strike several times against corporatisation of telecom services. It warned the workers that corporatisation is the first step towards privatisation. This is coming to be true. The only way is the united struggle of the entire workers including the ITS officers. Privatisation or closure will result in a bleak future for every body, including the new recruits.
‘Do or Die’ is the slogan. United struggle is our weapon. BSNL workers will fight and defeat the ill-motived pro-corporate decision of the Modi Government.
The All Unions and Associations of BSNL (AUAB) is consistently conducting struggles, demanding the rolling back of the Subsidiary Tower Company. The question of taking recourse to legal action, against the Subsidiary Tower Company, was discussed in the meetings of the AUAB. Finally, in the meeting held on 08.05.2018, after threadbare discussion, the AUAB decided to file a case in the Hon’ble Delhi High Court. Due to certain tactical reasons, it was decided that the case shall be filed in the name of the Executive Associations, and that all the constituents of the AUAB shall extend financial support. Accordingly, the case has been filed, and it came up for hearing today in the Hon’ble Delhi High Court. The Hon’ble Court admitted the case, and it also stated that the operation of the Subsidiary Tower Company shall be subject to the out come of this case. The next hearing of the case will take place on 25.09.2018.(courtesy: BSNLEU)
[Date : 25 – May – 2018]
AUAB DEFERS THE WALK OUT AND RALLY ON 28-05-2018
The decision of All Unions and Associations of BSNL to organise walkout and rally on 28-05-2018 against separate tower company has been deferred after the CMD, BSNL gave a categorical assurance to the AUAB leaders in the discussion held on 24-05-2018 that tower company is not an item in the proposed Board meeting at Hyderabad on 28-05-2018.