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Meeting between Shri Manoj Sinha, Hon’ble Minister of State for Communications and the All Unions and Associations of BSNL – A historical meeting:
A meeting is held at the Sanchar Bhawan today the 24.02.2018, between Shri Manoj Sinha, Hon’ble Minister of State for Communications and the All Unions and Associations of BSNL (AUAB). Together with the Minister, Secretary, DoT, Special Secretary, DoT, Joint Secretary (Admn.), DoT, DDG (Esst), DoT, Shri Anand Kumar, OSD to the Hon’ble Minister, CMD BSNL and Director (HR) BSNL were present. From the All Unions and Associations of BSNL, Com. P. Abhimanyu, GS, Com. Chandeswar Singh, GS, NFTE, Com. K. Sebastin, GS, SNEA, Com. Prahlad Rai, GS, AIBSNLEA, Com. K. Jayaprakash, GS, FNTO, Com. N.D. Ram, GS, SEWA BSNL, Com. Ravi Shil Verma, GS, AIGETOA, Com. Mallikarjuna, President, BSNL MS and Com. S.D. Sharma, GS, BSNL ATM, participated in the discussions. The representatives of the AUAB heartily thanked the Hon’ble Minister for taking out time to meet them. Detailed discussions took place on the memorandum submitted to the Hon’ble Minister, the details of which are as follows:-
(1) 3rd Pay Revision.
So far, the DoT has been maintaining that BSNL employees are not eligible for 3rd Pay Revision. In today’s meeting the Hon’ble Minister agreed that the issue of 3rd Pay Revision of BSNL employees would be processed and would be taken for the approval of the DPE and the Cabinet. This is a great achievement. We have broken the stalemate that prevailed in the Pay Revision issue. At the same time we have to be vigilant, till the final approval is given by the Cabinet.
(2) Formation of Subsidiary Tower Company.
The AUAB representatives expressed their apprehension that in the name of formation of the Tower Company, the 66,000 mobile towers of BSNL are being snatched away from BSNL. They also pointed out that the decision of the Cabinet that, the Subsidiary Tower Company would remain under the control of BSNL Management, has been violated, through the appointment of an IAS officer as the CMD of Subsidiary Tower Company. They further pointed out that even BSNL Management was not taken in to confidence in the appointment of an IAS officer as the CMD of the Subsidiary Tower Company, which clearly shows that the Subsidiary Tower Company would not be under the control of BSNL Management. The reply given by the Hon’ble Minister in this regard is not satisfactory. The AUAB has to find ways and means to ensure the rolling back of the Subsidiary Tower Company.
During the discussions on the issue, GS AIBSNLEA raised the issue of additional increment on post based promotions under the provisions of executive promotion policy provisions which has been denounced by DoT vide letter dated 05.07.2017 and lakhs of rupees recoveries are taking place of BSNL executives and BSNL pensioners. He instantly submitted Hon’ble PB CAT judgment copy to Hon’ble MOSC (I/C) wherein the DoT order dated 05.07.2017 has been quashed. Hon’ble MOSC (I/C) immediately directed DoT administration to look into the matter. Now, we can expect that DoT may not go for appeal against the PBCAT order in this regard after this meeting.
(3) Pension Revision.
The representatives of AUAB strongly argued that pension revision should be done to the BSNL pensioners. It was pointed out that the BSNL pensioners and the Central Government pensioners are covered by the same rules. They argued that when pension revision is settled for the Central Government pensioners, the same should not be denied to the BSNL pensioners. The Hon’ble Minister assured that needful action would be taken to settle this issue.
(4) Calculation of Pension Contribution.
It was strongly argued that pension contribution in respect of BSNL employees cannot be calculated on the basis of maximum of the pay scale, when the same is calculated on the basis of actual basic pay, in the case of Central Government employees. It was pointed out that as per the DoP&T order issued in 2006, pension contribution of the Central Government employees is being deducted on the basis of actual pay only. The Hon’ble Minister directed the Secretary, DoT, that this issue should be settled as per Government orders.
(5) Allotment of 4G spectrum to BSNL.
The AUAB representatives pointed out that it will be extremely difficult for BSNL to compete with the private operators, without providing 4G service. They strongly argued that the proposal of the BSNL Management, for the allotment of 4G spectrum by the Government, should be accepted. The Hon’ble Minister replied in the positive and assured that needful action would be taken.
(6) Reduction of retirement age from 60 to 58.
The AUAB representatives strongly argued that the retirement age of the BSNL employees should not be reduced from 60 to 58, as a measure for the revival of BSNL. The Hon’ble Minister told that the government is not having any proposal to reduce the retirement age from 60 to 58.
(7) Left out issues of the 2nd PRC.
The AUAB representatives pointed out that this issue is lingering on very long time and needs to be settled. The Hon’ble Minister stated that this issue would be looked into by the Secretary, DoT.
At the end of the meeting, the Hon’ble Minister stated that the representatives of AUAB could meet him again, as well as the Secretary, DoT, in continuation of today’s meeting. The representatives of AUAB heartily thanked the Minister for his positive response to most of the issues.
After the meeting with the Hon’ble Minister, a meeting of the AUAB was held in the FNTO’s office. All the General Secretaries expressed their satisfaction with regards to the progress in the issues. They also expressed the view that all these have happened only because of the united struggles and massive mobilization by the entire Non-Executives and Executives, for which they deserve appreciation.