Aggrieved BSNL workers write to PM, seek help: Report

Aggrieved BSNL workers write to PM, seek help: Report

Representative image/Wikimedia Commons

The employees of the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) on Monday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, reaching out for his help to breathe new life into the hard-pressed public sector undertaking. The crux of the letter was their fear of the Finance Ministry proposing to shut the telecom company instead of charting its revival.    

The Sanchar Nigam Executives' Association's president Sebastin K, in a letter to the PM, said, "It is felt that those officers involved in the process may not get an opportunity to learn about the critical role played by BSNL in nation-building and in implementing government schemes and projects," according to a report by Business Standard. 

The letter also highlighted the fact that the company directly employees a large number of people who carry out most of the operational and maintenance tasks by themselves. 

Earlier this month, DH had reported that the state-run telecom services provider was planning to lay-off 30% of its contract workforce following increasing financial stress. Sources suggest that more than 2,500 contract employees have been laid off in the past year. 

Read: BSNL unable to pay contract employees for 6 months now

The state-run corporation has been reeling under financial stress after Reliance Jio entered the picture. The company’s revenues dipped by 20% during 2017-18, on the back of predatory pricing unleashed by Mukesh Ambani-owned Jio. The company clocked Rs 25,071 crore in revenues during 2017-18, as against Rs 31,533 crores in 2016-17. It made a loss of Rs 7,993 crore during 2017-18, up 66% over the previous year. BSNL is expected to post a loss of Rs 14,000 crore in 2018-19 and lower of around Rs 19,000 crore.

Also read: BHEL, BSNL, Coal India warn staff of pay cuts: Report

The last time BSNL witnessed profits was a decade ago in 2008-09 when it clocked an annual profit of Rs 575 crore.

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