BSNL Union Press Statement – Hunger Strike
ALL UNIONS AND ASSOCIATIONS OF BSNL (AUAB)
The All Unions and Associations of BSNL (AUAB) is organising a country wide hunger strike on 24.02.2020. This hunger strike is being organised to demand the expeditious implementation of the Union Cabinet’s Revival Package in respect of BSNL, as well as to demand settlement of the grievances of the employees.
On 23.10.2019, the Union Cabinet approved a Rs.69,000 crore Revival Package for both BSNL and MTNL. The salient features of this Revival Package is the allotment of 4G spectrum, the issuing of Sovereign Guarantee for raising funds to the tune of Rs.15,000 crore (Rs.8,500 for BSNL and Rs.6,500 for MTNL) by way of issuing long term bonds, monetisation of assets and implementation of a VRS.
Out of these, only the VRS has been implemented, through which 78,569 BSNL employees have been sent home. It is extremely disturbing to note that, even after the lapse of nearly 4 months, 4G spectrum has not been allotted to BSNL. Similarly, the government has not yet issued the Sovereign Guarantee to BSNL, to enable it to raise Rs.8,500 crore, by way of issuing long term bonds. The process of monetisation of BSNL’s assets is also moving at snail’s phase. The Hon’ble Supreme Court of India’s judgement, with regards to the calculation of the AGR, has caused uncertainties in the telecom sector, due to which banks are also unwilling to extend the much needed loans to BSNL.
Due to the delay in the allotment of 4G spectrum and also due to the non-availability of funds, it is understood that, BSNL’s 4G service is not likely to be launched before the end of 2020. This delay is much against the spirit of the Union Cabinet, in approving the Revival Package for BSNL. The attention of the Hon’ble Minister of Communications has already been drawn to the need to provide BSNL with the much needed working capital. However, nothing has happened.
In the above mentioned circumstances, BSNL is not able to improve it’s revenue generation and is suffering from acute cash crunch. The employees are not getting salary on time and the wages of the contract workers have not been paid for the past 10 months. The deductions made from employees’ salaries, on account of GPF, bank loan EMI, society dues, LIC premium, etc., have not been remitted by the BSNL Management, to the concerned organisations. As a result of this, the employees are unable to get GPF and society loans.
Under these circumstances, the AUAB has already organised country wide lunch hour demonstrations on 11.02.2020. In continuation of this, hunger strikes are being organised throughout the country on 24.02.2020, at the Corporate Office, Circle and District levels, to urge upon the Department of Telecommunications and the BSNL Management to take expeditious actions.
Com. Chandeshwar Singh
Mobile No : 9868256622
Com. P. Abhimanyu