Saturday, August 13, 2022

Compassionate ground appointments banned in BSNL for 3 years: Minister

Must read

  • The ban came into effect on April 1, 2019 and will stay on till March 31, 2022

  • Compassionate Ground Appointment is given to a dependant family member of a government servant dying in harness or who is retired on medical grounds

New Delhi: Minister of State for Communications and Information Technology Sanjay Dhotre has said that compassionate ground appointments for state-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) employees have been banned for three years, considering the PSU’s precarious financial condition. In a written response to a question raised in the Lok Sabha, Dhotre said on Wednesday, “Compassionate Ground Appointments (CGA) in Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) have been banned for three years w.e.f. 01.04.2019 to 31.03.2022 due to its stressed financial conditions.”

BSNL absorbed employees already covered under CCS (Pension) Rules

The minister told the Lower House of the Parliament that BSNL-absorbed employees are already covered under CCS (Pension) Rules and their family is provided enhanced rate of family pension for initial seven years and thereafter, normal family pension under this Rule. “BSNL recruited employees are covered under Superannuation Pension Scheme as per BSNL Employees Superannuation Pension Trust Rules. Further deceased employees’ family is also paid the Gratuity and Leave Encashment as per extant Rules,” said Dhotre.

What is compassionate ground appointment?

Compassionate Ground Appointment scheme is aimed at granting appointment on compassionate grounds to a dependant family member of a government servant dying in harness or who is retired on medical grounds, thereby leaving their family in penury and without any means of livelihood. The scheme has been envisaged in order to relieve the family of a government employee of financial destitution and aid them in getting over an emergency.

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The backdrop

BSNL had incurred a cumulative loss of Rs 17,645 crore between 2015-16 to 2017-18 and Rs 14,904 crore in 2018-19. In a written response submitted in the Parliament in March 2020, Dhotre had said that BSNL’s loss had swelled to Rs 39,089 crore during the April-December 2019 period. However, BSNL turned positive on the Earnings before Interest, Tax, Depreciation and Amortisation (EBITDA) in the first half of the current financial year after cutting down its workforce by half last year through voluntary retirement scheme (VRS). The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) said earlier in January that for BSNL, EBITDA rose from minus Rs 3,596 crore for the half year ended in September 2019 to positive Rs 602 crore in H1 of FY21. The government has approved a revival plan for the two state-run telecom firms — BSNL and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL) in 2019. 

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