State-owned BSNL has issued a directive to all its units to curtail expenditure on contract works which is likely to result in retrenchment of around 20,000 workers engaged with the telecom firm through contractors, according to BSNL Employees’ Union.
The union also claimed that 30,000 contractual workers have already been retrenched under the company's retrenchment process and added that all such workers remained unpaid for more than a year.
More than 92,000 employees of BSNL and MTNL have opted for voluntary retirement, Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said on Wednesday as he asserted that the government will make the two telecom companies profitable as they are strategic assets. The Communications Minister told the Lok Sabha that the merger of BSNL and MTNL will have pan-India foot print, synergy in operations, reduction of fixed costs and overheads, among others.
Just days before Diwali, the government has taken a decision to lift the air of uncertainty over the two public sector telecom behemoths — Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL). While approving a package of nearly Rs 70,000 crore for the two financially stressed entities, the Union Cabinet on Wednesday also drew up a timeline to merge them.
Department of Telecommunications has again sought relief for the beleaguered Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd with fewer demands, essentially translating into lesser cash outgo by the Centre.
It is learnt that DoT has sought funds for the voluntary retirement schemes of the two sick units and allotment of 4G spectrum, besides proposing to raise finances by monetising assets.
The government’s plan to revive BSNL should be in public domain within a month, the chairman of the troubled telecom firm said on Monday. BSNL Chairman and Managing Director P K Purwar also said that the salary of all employees will be paid before Diwali.
“BSNL has inner strength on the basis of which it is adding new customers. We are a Rs 20,000 crore plus revenue generating organization.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) is expected to give its views within two weeks over what should be the appropriate ring duration for mobile calls as operators have failed to arrive at a consensus on the thorny issue.
The authority was forced to intervene in the matter after Reliance Jio reduced the ringing time to 20 seconds from 45 seconds, which forced the incumbent operators to complain to Trai and even after several meetings, there was no unanimity on what should be the right duration.
Existence of BSNL is in strategic interest of the nation and the government is looking to resolve issues plaguing it, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said on Thursday. The law and telecom minister acknowledged that there are problems in the telecom sector, which are being looked upon by the government.
“BSNL is in strategic interest of the nation. Whenever there is flood, cyclones, BSNL is the first one to offer services for free. 75 per cent of their revenues goes into salary of employees while others manage it in 5-10 per cent.
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