Saturday, January 3, 2015

Indifinate Strike From !7-3-14-inf. by Ashok hindocha M-9426201999

Indefinite strike from 17-03-2015
Demanding immediate steps for the revival of BSNL.
The Forum of BSNL Unions and
Associations has given a clarion call to
the employees to go on an indefinite
strike from 17
th March, 2015. It is a do
or die situation for the employees. BSNL is
running in loss for the past several years.
It’s market share keeps on dwindling and
has gone below 10%. The next wage
revision for the employees from
01.01.2017, has become a big question
mark. As a result, revision of pension for
the BSNL retirees has also become
uncertain. In short, the future of BSNL, it’s
2.5 lakh workforce, as well as the
pensioners, has become gloomy.
Every attempt is being made to malign
the employees of BSNL. It is being
blamed that BSNL is not able to compete
with private companies, because of
the poor performance of the employees. Further, it is also being propagated that the huge expenditure on account of
payment of salaries to the employees, which constitutes 52% of the Company’s revenues, has led to the financial crisis
of BSNL.
A clear-cut attempt is being made to cover up the real reasons for the downfall of the Company. The quality of BSNL’s
services has been steadily declining over the past several years, due to the Non - expansion of it’s networks. The
cancellation of the 45 million line tender in 2007 and the cancellation of the 93 million line tender in 2010, were body
blows for BSNL. The cancellation of these tenders resulted in denial of GSM equipment supply to BSNL for almost 5 to
6 years. This resulted in network congestion and deterioration in quality of services. As on date, BSNL is having only
around 60,000 towers, whereas, private companies like Airtel and Vodafone are having around 1,20,000 towers each.
How BSNL can compete with these private companies?
Thus, undoubtedly, it is the anti-BSNL and pro-private policies of the successive governments that came to power at the
Centre, are responsible for the present crisis of BSNL. They have taken every possible step to weaken BSNL. Apart
from creating roadblocks to BSNL’s equipment procurement, stoppage of ADC, refusal to compensate BSNL’s loss
incurred on account of providing rural landline service, non- refund of the BWA spectrum charges to BSNL, etc., are
some classic examples. The government should change it’s anti-BSNL policies.
The rapid expansion, as well as upgradation of BSNL’S mobile network is the immediate need for the revival of the
Company. However, this is not possible without a huge capital investment. BSNL, on it’s own does not have the
wherewithal to make this investment. Even PSU banks are not prepared to lend loan to BSNL, on the plea that the
Company is making loss for the past several years, and has no repaying capacity. Hence, the government should step
in and should ensure that BSNL gets necessary funds for it’s capital expenditure.
Ravi Shankar Prasad, after taking over as the Minister of Communications, declared from roof-top, that his government
would provide all supports for the revival of BSNL. But so far, no action is taken in this direction. On the other hand, the
government is moving swiftly to merge BSNL with MTNL. If this merger is done, then that will be the end of the road for
BSNL. Similarly, the government has formed the BBNL and is in the process of forming a separate subsidiary tower
company. These steps are undoubtedly aimed at further weakening BSNL. The retrograde recommendations of the
Deloittee Committee, if implemented will damage BSNL beyond repair.
The Forum has submitted memorandum after memorandum to the government on the issue of revival of BSNL. But
unfortunately, the government has turned a deaf ear to those proposals. It is now crystal clear that the government is
not really interested in the revival of BSNL, except making some noises every now and then, about the merger of BSNL
and MTNL. Hence, we are left with no other option but to go on struggle. CHQ calls upon the circle and district unions to
take all out efforts to mobilise the entire employees to make the strike a historic success.

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