BSNL employees plan hunger strike on Monday

Republic World
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The All Unions and Associations of BSNL (AUAB) has decided to organize a country-wide hunger strike on February 24 for early implementation of the cabinet decisions on the Bharat Sanchar Nigam’s revival.

The strike is also aimed at putting pressure on the expeditious settlement of employees’ grievances, according to an AUAB statement here on Saturday.

Last year the cabinet approved an Rs. 69,000 crore revival package for both BSNL and MTNL. The salient features of the package included allotment of the 4G spectrum, issuing a sovereign guarantee for raising Rs. 15,000 crores (Rs. 8,500 for BSNL and Rs. 6,500 for MTNL) funds via long-term bonds, monetization of assets and implementation of voluntary retirement scheme.

Of these, only the VRS has been implemented and 78,569 BSNL employees have been sent home. The BSNL has not been allotted the 4G spectrum. Similarly, the sovereign guarantee is awaited. The process of monetization of BSNL’s assets is also moving slowly, according to the statement.

The Supreme Court’s recent judgment on the AGR calculation had created uncertainties in the telecom sector, due to which banks were unwilling to extend loans to BSNL, the AUAB said.

Due to the delay in the 4G spectrum allotment and non-availability of funds, BSNL was unlikely to launch 4G services by the end of 2020; it said and added it was quite a grim situation for employees.

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