Union government is considering several options for BSNL and MTNL including a complete closure of these two PSUs.
BSNL employee unions have decided to observe a one-day hunger strike next week to protest the non-payment of salary for the last month and delay in the announcement for the revival package for the stressed telecom PSU. BSNL has nearly 1.65 lakh employees, with over 40,000 in the executive cadre. The public sector telecom giant has close to 10 associations and one general secretary-level official from each of these unions and associations will observe one-day hunger strike next Friday. The employees are worried about their future as the Modi government weighs several options for BSNL and MTNL. Non-payment of salary for the month of September coupled with the news reports that the finance ministry has rejected the Rs 74,000 crore revival package put forward by the department of telecommunications has heightened the concerns of BSNL staff.
“We will observe one-day hunger strike on October 18 to draw the attention of the government,” said Aftab Ahmed Khan, national president of Sanchar Nigam Executives Association (SNEA).
According to the plan, at least one office-bearer each from nearly 10 odd employee unions and executive associations of BSNL will observe one-day hunger strike.
“One general secretary level office bearer from each association and union will take part in the hunger strike,” Aftab Ahmed Khan told Financial Express Online.
The public sector telecom giant that was corporatised in October 2000 has been incurring losses since 2009-10. According to the latest information, BSNL’s total loss in FY 2018-19 is expected to be around Rs 14,000 crore. And the total loss in the last four financial years is pegged at around Rs 32,000 crore.
According to reports, the Modi government is considering several options including a bail-out package for the beleaguered PSU that will cost around Rs 74,000 crore including the provision for VRS for unnecessary staff.
Another option before the government is to completely close down both BSNL-MTNL by spending some Rs 95,000 crore.