Whenever the DOT or BSNL Management is asked about the financial condition of BSNL, they immediately blame the wage bill of the huge workforce of BSNL. They will point out that the wage bill comes to about 50% of the expenditure or so. Next point will be to implement VRS for about one lakh workers so that the expenditure can be reduced and BSNL saved. Even in interview with the CMD BSNL, the Business Lines column writer has reported the CMD BSNL, mentioning the wage increase as one of the main reasons of the financial difficulties.
In the report of the Group of Ministers from BSNL, again the main reason for the financial difficulties is mentioned as huge wage bill coming up to 50% of the total expenditure.
All the above arguments are a fallacy to mislead the government and the public. Let us examine the points one by one.
1. Did the wage bill increase? No. The wage bill for 2009-10 was Rs. 13,455 crore, for 2010-11 Rs. 13,791 crore, for 2011-12 Rs. 13,406 crore and for 2012-13 Rs. 13,856 crore. One can see that there is no increase as such, but only small amount more or less each year.
2. The wage bill comes to 50% of the revenue: The wage bill has increased in %, not because of the actual increase of wages, but due to loss of revenue. The revenue came down drastically during the period mentioned above. While the revenue was Rs. 34,708 crore in 2009-10, it reduced to Rs. 29,686 crore in 2010-11, Rs. 27,933 crore in 2011-12 and to Rs. 26,396 in 2012-13. it is because of this drastic reduction in revenue that the % of wage bill has gone up. For example, if the revenue has up to Rs. 50,000 crore, the wage bill come to only between 25%-30%.
3. Who is responsible for the loss in revenue? Mainly it is the anti-PSU policy of the government. Secondly, it is the inept management. And thirdly a casual attitude of some workers.The government and management do not miss any chance to cite the example of the private companies, their work, profit etc. But they once again forget a important thing. In the private sector, when there is any loss, the management is fully responsible. The CMD and top officers resign on their own or are sent by the company making them responsible for the loss. But the same management which caused the loss continues without any stigma in BSNL.
4. What is the efficiency rate of the company management?: The rate is very low. None of the projects are completed in time. Whether the installation of 2199 towers in the 9 naxalite affected areas, The construction of the OFC lines for the Defence to enable them to release the spectrum, NOFN, BBNL etc. Everything in lagging behind. Who is responsible? The Management.
The Management and the Government should wake up from the slumber, instead of sleeping over the works and projects and sincerely and seriously attend to work. The workers are always ready to put all their strength for improving the situation so that BSNL can be saved and an efficient service provided.