BSNL employees call strike from Dec 3, allege govt is patronising

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The employees affiliation of state-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited have deliberate an indefinite strike from December 3. All Unions and Associations of BSNL, an umbrella organisation in a joint assertion have alleged that the federal government is patronising Mukesh Ambani owned Reliance Jio.

“As of now, the whole Telecom industry is gripped with a crisis…All these have happened due to the predatory pricing of the Mukesh Ambani owned Reliance Jio. The whole game plane of Reliance Jio is to wipe out its competitors, which includes the state owned BSNL,” BSNL unions mentioned within the joint assertion.

All Unions and Associations of BSNL (AUAB) alleged that Reliance Jio, because of it monetary muscle is providing Companies at ‘below-cost’ charges. The assertion additional mentioned that non-public Telecom firms like Aircel, Tata Teleservices, Anil Ambani-owned Reliance Communications and Telenor have already shut their cellular service Companies owing to such pricing methods.

It additionally alleged that Reliance Jio will steeply elevate call and information tariffs as soon as the complete competitors is worn out. “It will loot the people by steeply raising the call and data charges. It is a matter of deep concern that, Reliance Jio is being openly patronised by the Narendra Modi government,” the assertion mentioned.

The worker unions claimed that the federal government has not allotted spectrum for 4G Companies to BSNL with the intention to stop it from competing towards Reliance Jio.

AUAB mentioned the general public sector agency has been demanding allotment of 4G spectrum however “the government has turned a deaf ear to this demand, with the ulterior motive of preventing the public sector company from putting up an effective competition to Reliance Jio”.

“Demands of the strike include the immediate allotment of 4G spectrum to BSNL for rolling out its 4G service, implementation of the government rule in respect of payment of pension contribution by BSNL, wage revision of the employees and pension revision of the retirees, from January 1, 2017,” the assertion mentioned.

Apart from the allotment of 4G spectrum, the AUAB is additionally demanding the implementation of the federal government’s rule within the matter of BSNL’s fee of pension contribution.

It additionally alleged that whosoever tried to behave towards Reliance Jio needed to pay the worth, citing the instance of former Telecom secretary J S Deepak.

“JS Deepak wrote to the Trai demanding action on Reliance Jio, for adopting predatory pricing. As a result, JS Deepak was instantaneously shunted out of the DoT… This was a clear signal given by the Narendra Modi government, as to what would happen to any one who dares to speak against Reliance Jio,” the unions alleged.

“It is atrocious that, the Narendra Modi government is violating it’s own rule, and is fleecing a huge amount from BSNL every year, in the name of Pension Contribution. This is seriously affecting the financial health of the Company,” the unions mentioned.

The unions mentioned that BSNL was in a lack of greater than Rs 8,800 crore in 2011-12 however as a result of mixed efforts taken by the employees and the administration, the PSU posted an working revenue of Rs 672.57 crore in 2014-15. “BSNL’s improved performance is reflected in the expansion of it’s customer base also. It must be remembered that all these achievements are made by BSNL without 4G Technology and with only 2G and 3G technologies, while all the private Companies are armed with 4G Technology.”

So far there are not any feedback from the Prime Minister’s Office, Reliance Jio or the Telecom ministry on the allegations.

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