BSNL staffers slam closure reports, claim to have added 13.5 lakh subscribers in just a month

Employees of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) have not yet got their September salary although the festive season has already commenced

File photo of BSNL employees staging a protest (Courtesy: Social media)
File photo of BSNL employees staging a protest (Courtesy: Social media)

Ashlin Mathew

Despite the festive season already upon them, employees of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) have not yet got their September salary. They were initially promised that it would be credited by the first week, but now the employees are being told that they will get it only in the third week, just before Diwali.

“This is the month of festivals. Puja has already gone, so has Dussehra, but we have not heard when we will get the salary. In a day or two we will begin our agitation to protest against this,” P Abhimanyu, general secretary of BSNL employees Union said.

This is the third consecutive month when salaries have been delayed for BSNL employees. The employees got their August salary after it was delayed for almost 20 days. Earlier, this year the February salary was paid much later in March.

“This is our first demand. They have to pay our salaries in time. How long can we put our lives on hold waiting for salaries,” exclaimed S Sivakumar, general secretary of BSNL Executive Association.

“According to sources, the government has agreed to give Rs 4,500 crore for three months and within that time soft loans are likely to be given. We are meeting officials of banks too. They have to approve the revival plan,” he added.

BSNL closure plans

“At a time when several telecom operators are losing subscribers, BSNL is adding customers. In September alone we added 13.5 lakh mobile customers,” added Abhimanyu.

The Union leaders and employees have slammed the news that BSNL is being shut down. “We believe that such fake news is being leaked by some business houses with the motive of grabbing the customers of BSNL and to defame BSNL/MTNL,” added S Sivakumar.

“No one can take a decision to shut down BSNL. But, the bureaucrats sitting in the finance ministry want BSNL to be shut down. There is a Group of Ministers of which the Finance Minister is a part, even then the bureaucrats have been raising objections to revivals plans,” said P Abhimanyu, general secretary of BSNL employees Union.

“We are in this state only because of government decisions. Since this is a company owned by the government, we demand that the government allocates the 4G spectrum to us. It will cost Rs 16,000 crore and in lieu of that the government should increase the paid-up capital,” added Abhimanyu.

The employees and union leaders have asked the government and BSNL CMD PK Purwar to condemn the news.

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