While BSNL employee unions allege that the state-run company is forcing their colleagues to embrace a voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) by inducing a fear psychosis and call for an all-India hunger strike on 25 November, the condition that they have brought the PSU down to would leave few with any sympathy for them.
BSNL’s earnings graph is declining while it remains the country’s largest telecom company. In the month of October, its UP East Zone earnings were Rs 317 crore, which is 22.25% less than that of the previous year. BSNL has 27 zones in the country, out of which only four are making some profit. Western UP, Uttarakhand, Punjab and Andaman Nicobar Zone are at an advantage. The Himachal Pradesh zone is suffering the largest deficit.
BSNL has not been doing well for the past few years. VRS is being given to those above 50 years of age to reduce the losses incurred continuously. Most of the officers and employees falling in this category are applying for VRS. Meanwhile, all the data coming from the PSU‘s earnings is very disappointing.
The figures were released on 13 November. Statistics show that the company suffered an overall loss of 16.55% till October this year as compared to the figure in October last year. There are only four zones in 27 zones of the country that are making money. Himachal Pradesh tops the deficit zone where earnings have decreased by 39.82%.
The Northeast Zone is 30.85% down, occupying the dubious second position. It’s 30.85% down in Karnataka, 29.99% down in Assam, Chennai has gone down 27.88%, it is 24.85% down in Kerala, 24.05% down in Maharashtra, 22.41% down in Jammu, 22.25% down in East UP. In Gujarat, the BSNL earnings have gone down by 15.79%. It’s 10.16% down in Chhattisgarh, 9.54% down in Haryana, 6.55% down in Andhra Pradesh. At the same time, Bihar had the lowest deficit of 0.32%.
Just four BSNL zones are doing well. Punjab has seen a 4.23% higher income. It is 13.18% up in Uttar Pradesh West, 16.49% up in Uttarakhand and 36.41% up in Andaman and Nicobar.
Till October last year, the total revenue of BSNL was Rs 11,264 crore, which has been reduced to Rs 9,400 crore this year.
Yet, All India Unions and Associations of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (AUAB) convenor P Abhimanyu said the unions, which represent more than half of BSNL employees, have alleged that the management is threatening employees of reduction in their retirement age to 58 years or of faraway posting if they didn’t choose VRS.