At the time of the corporatisation of DOT services to BSNL in October 2000, the government gave three main assurances to ensure its financial viability. (1) Access Deficit Charges (ADC) will be collected from the private telecom companies and the same will be paid to BSNL (2) BSNL have to pay licence fee just like other telecom companies, but the same will be refunded to it and (3) There will be liberal support from the USO Fund for providing universal service (means providing telephone connections in the village and rural areas as part of the governments commitment to provide universal service). It was also declared at the time of inauguration of BSNL by the then Communications Minister Ram Vilas Paswan that BSNL will be granted the status of Maharatna, which is above Mini Ratna and Navaratna status.
For a few years, ADC was collected and paid to BSNL. Later it was topped. In lieu of it an amount of Rs.1,500 crore was sanctioned and paid in 2011-12 and an amount of Rs. 1,250 crore was allotted for 2012-13. But so far this latter amount is not paid to BSNL. ADC is completely stopped also.
In the same way, for a few years, the Licence Fee paid by BSNL was refunded. Now the refund is not given.
Though USO Fund was being paid to BSNL, it was far less than required. Approximately an amount of about Rs. 3,000 crore was being received by USOF from all the telecom companies together, but only about an amount of Rs. 200-300 was being paid to BSNL. The fund got accumulated to more than Rs.20,000 crore. Now all the companies are made eligible for USOF and BSNL is getting only a small portion.
With regard to grant of Maharatna, BSNL is granted only Mini Ratna, which in fact, is an insult to such a big company.
By going back from the assurances on financial viability and grant of Maharatna status, which gives more power to the PSU to take decisions etc., the government was making BSNL a loss making company. BSNL is in loss of about Rs. 10,000 crore for providing services in the interior and difficult areas. If the government fully compensate this loss, then the company will be in profit.
The Forum demands that the Government should honour its assurances and continue the support already assured at the time of the formation of BSNL. This is a major demand of the Forum included in the notice for Strike on 21-22 April 2015.