100,000 people working with BSNL vendors are likely to go empty handed

100,000 people working with BSNL vendors are likely to go empty handed
BCCL

  • The debt-ridden telecom operator Bharat Sanchar Nigam (BSNL) is yet to make outstanding payments worth ₹200 billion to vendors.
  • This has put 100,000 jobs in the domestic telecom sector in trouble.
  • The workforce — including the off-roll employees are now planning to protest outside the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) for delayed salaries.
  • The government’s plan to merge BSNL and MTNL comes with a voluntary retirement plan for employees. Under this, the company will give away 125% of the remaining salaries until retirement.
The debt-ridden telecom operator Bharat Sanchar Nigam (BSNL) is to make outstanding payments worth ₹200 billion to vendors. This means another 100,000 jobs in the domestic telecom sector are in trouble.

“This is an unfortunate situation. More than 1 lakh employees of domestic companies may be out of their job in the next few weeks if the government continues to ignore the financially-stressed industry,” Sandeep Aggarwal, chairman of Telecom Committee at PHD Chamber of Commerce & Industry told ET.

The state-owned telco is now looking to reduce its operational costs. However, the unpaid dues left the workers and employees stranded. The telecom industry employs over 200,000 workers.
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In the last few months, BSNL has been paying salaries to its own 180,000 employees after a standard two-week delay. The workforce — including the off-roll employees are now planning to protest outside the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) for delayed salaries, ET reported.

“The telecom department has diverted funds payable to industry to meet out BSNL staff wages but no concern is displayed for several thousands of those employed in the private sector,” Aggarwal added.

The companies demanding recovery of the unpaid dues include Sterlite Technologies (STL), Vihaan Networks Limited (VNL) and Birla Cable Limited (BCL) amongst others. This includes payment of telecommunication kits and other services extended to the telcos BSNL and MTNL. Over 1,100 complaints have been registered against the company for outstanding dues. This is one of the highest for any public sector entity.
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Last month, the Narendra Modi government decided to merge the two telcos — BSNL and MTNL. While the merger will take some time to be implemented, MTNL will be considered as a subsidiary of BSNL. This also comes with a voluntary retirement plan for employees. Under this, the company will give the employees 125% of the salary of remaining years until retirement.

It is also tightening costs by reducing its energy consumption by 15%. It is not just BSNL but all telcos are suffering from reduced income from data services, thanks to Jio’s predatory prices. Now, BSNL is looking to offer 4G services to keep up with the times.

See also:
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