The state-run BSNL has delayed its salaries of its 1.65 lakh employees again for the month of July. The salaries are likely to be disbursed only by August 9.
“The CMD PK Purwar informed us that that the salaries are likely only by next weekend. Every month we wonder when the salaries will come. The government is doing this to put everyone under stress as they have asked us to opt for voluntary retirement,” highlighted Prahlad Rai, BSNL Executive Association chairperson.
However, in a statement last week Purwar had insisted that the salaries would be paid by August 5. The PSU employees still haven’t got their salaries.
“At least ₹1,350 crore is required to pay salaries of the employees. And another 900 crore is required for other expenses, including paying the vendors,” points out S Sivakumar, the general secretary of the association.
This is not the first time the salaries of BSNL executives have been delayed. Earlier this year in February too the salaries were delayed. The government-owned corporation is undergoing a major cash crunch due to government inaction and its preference for private telecom companies over the national PSU.
BSNL usually pays its employees on the last day of a month, a day before the last day or on the first day of the new month.
“BSNL owes around ₹3,000 crore to its vendors and that is likely to be cleared before the salaries are cleared,” pointed out Rai, who also explained that the government had no revival plan for BSNL. It is only looking to sell it off.
“The government has been saying that there should only be 35,000 employees and they want the remaining 1,30,000 employees removed,” observed Rai.
BSNL is going through its worst crisis and is in the process of identifying land parcels around the country for monetisation of non-core assets. The land value of these assets is estimated at ₹20,000 crore.
The telecom company has been facing losses due to absence of 4G services in most places, tariff cuts by Jio.