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BSNL union claims telecom PSU not being managed well, salaries, revival plan in disarray

The management of BSNL has missed several opportunities to roll out 4G across India and has failed to disburse salaries to employees on time, BSNL Employees Union has said

The management of BSNL has missed several opportunities to roll out 4G across India and has failed to disburse salaries to employees on time, BSNL Employees Union has said.
The management of BSNL has missed several opportunities to roll out 4G across India and has failed to disburse salaries to employees on time, BSNL Employees Union has said.
  • ‘Even though BSNL’s monthly revenue collection stands at Rs 1,500 crore and the PSU requires Rs 450 crore for salary payment, yet salaries have not been disbursed on time’

  • ‘The financial condition of the Company has not shown much improvement’

New Delhi: The management of state-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) has missed several opportunities to roll out 4G across India — an issue which is crucial to the revival of the state-run telecom company — and has failed to disburse salaries to employees on time throughout 2020, BSNL Employees Union has said in a letter addressed to Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) PK Purwar on Thursday. The union alleged that even though BSNL’s monthly revenue collection stands at Rs 1,500 crore and the PSU requires Rs 450 crore for salary payment, yet salaries have not been disbursed on time.

‘BSNL’s financial condition has not shown much improvement’

“The government has already allotted 4G spectrum free of cost to BSNL. Further, the government has also extended Sovereign Guarantee to BSNL, for raising Rs 8,500 crore from the market, by way of issuing bonds. Above all, the monthly salary expenditure of the Company has already been cut down by 50 percent, by way of the retirement of around 80,000 employees, through the VRS-2019. Despite all these factors, the financial condition of the Company has not shown much improvement. This only shows the total failure of the Management in implementing the revival package announced by the government of India in October, 2019,” said the union in the letter. 

‘BSNL could have rolled out 4G 8 months back’

The Union Cabinet had taken a decision on October 23, 2019, to allot 4G spectrum to BSNL, an issue which had long put BSNL at a disadvantageous position vis-a-vis its competitors. The 4G spectrum was made available to BSNL in April 2020. “In between, there was a ‘Golden Period’ of six months, which could have been effectively utilised for the upgradation of BSNL’s 49,300 4G compatible BTSs. Even if the lockdown period is ignored, still, the management had a period of five months. Had this opportunity been properly utilised by the management, the company could have launched its 4G service eight months ago, at the pan-India level,” said the union in the letter. PSU Watch has reached out to the BSNL management to seek a comment on the letter. This story will be updated when an official response is received.

“It is nothing but a bitter truth that the BSNL Management, under your stewardship, has utterly failed on this count. As a result, BSNL’s 4G launching still remains a distant dream. Since, BSNL has not been able to launch its 4G service till date, the company is not able to make inroads into the mobile segment,” the union wrote in the letter. It added that the unavailability of 4G has caused the telecom company’s customers to port to other 4G service providers.

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“... it is distressing to note that, the BSNL Management does not want to involve the unions and associations, representing this work force, for the implementation of the revival plan announced by the government. Unlike your predecessors, you are not holding periodical interactions with the unions and associations, to explore how best the work force can be involved in the early financial revival of the company,” the BSNL Employees Union alleged. 

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