BSNL Employees Reject Retirement Scheme; Even BSNL Partners Are Not Getting Salaries Now?

BSNL employees dont want to retire
BSNL employees don’t want to retire

Reeling under heavy loss, and huge debt, BSNL is trying to revive the company with debt reduction plans, and a retirement scheme for employees above 50 years.

BSNL Employees have rejected this offer of retirement and has blamed the management for intentionally sabotaging the company, by favoring Jio.

In related news, it has come to notice that even BSNL partners are not able to give salaries to their employees, as BSNL is delaying their payments.

Will BSNL be able to survive this phase?

BSNL Employee Unions: Retirement is Out Of Question

Two major employee unions have come forward, and straight-away rejected BSNL’s plans to reduce workforce by retirement schemes.

BSNL Employees’ Union (BSNLEU) and The All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), both have issued statements condemning the retirement scheme.

In a statement, BSNLEU alleged that BSNL top brass is intentionally helping Jio and thereby making BSNL weak. Their statement said: “However, problem started when Reliance Jio started it’s services in September 2016. Utilising it’s huge financial muscle, Reliance Jio is practicing predatory pricings, with a view to close down it’s competitors.”

As per them, BSNL made net profit of Rs 10,000 crore in 2004-05, and witnessed a turnaround between 2014 to 2016. But after that, Jio’s entry changed everything.

The Union has alleged “step-motherly attitude towards BSNL” by DoT, as they are favoring Jio’s predatory pricing by changing the rules, and not allowing BSNL to have  4G spectrum.

On the other hand, AITUC has alleged that the political nexus is attempting to kill BSNL, and help private players like Jio. Their statement read: “BSNL is fighting on for survival, bereft of any support from the government and sabotaged from within by high ranking officers and politicians.”

Employee Unions are arguing that BSNL has only a debt of Rs 13,900 crore, which is minuscule, compared to debts of Rs 1.2 lakh crore of Vodafone, and Rs 2 lakh crore of Jio.

We have already reported how BSNL is on the verge of being closed down, even as the management is attempting to revive the company by various measures, including firing 54,000 employees.

BSNL chairman Anupam Shrivastava had earlier said, “The government is seriously considering 4G spectrum to BSNL, and a lucrative VRS being offered to the willing employees who would like to take.”

BSNL Partners Not Getting Salaries

In the month of March, BSNL employees didn’t get their salaries, and this happened for the first time in 18 years. There was widespread protests, and the Govt had to infuse emergency funds for clearing salaries.

Now, reports are emerging that even BSNL partners are not being able to pay salaries for their employees, as BSNL has no money left.

BSNL has outsourced some major portions of their national telecom connectivity project to Indian firms: Vihaan Networks Ltd. (VNL) and Himachal Futuristic Communications Ltd. (HFCL).

Together, they employ 8000+ employees, both directly and indirectly.

An unnamed source from these companies said, “For the last several months, we are getting our salaries delayed by almost two-to-three weeks with the company sitting idle on one of our important telecom connectivity programs, it had won more than a year ago from BSNL”

HFCL founder Mahendra Nahata has refused these allegations.

BSNL Intentionally Delaying North East Project?

Meanwhile the same situation is in North-East as well, where BSNL has been allocated funds under Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) for expanding telecom network.

Under the project, BSNL had outsourced the work to deploy 2,817 towers in 4,119 villages in Arunachal Pradesh and two districts of Assam: Karbi Anglong and Dima Hasao.

These companies have taken bank loans and credit for starting the work, moved expensive equipments on-site, but their payments are delayed, and since no work has started, they are getting no money as well.

Telecom Equipment Manufacturers Association (TEMA) chairman NK Goyal said, “Payments to BSNL were stopped. The projects which should ideally go to BSNL were stationary and put to legal tangles so that they could not be completed,”

What exactly is happening with BSNL?

We will keep you updated, as more details come in.

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