BSNL engineers to PM: Take measures to revive firm, reward performers

Citing lower debt and a continuous increase in market share, an association comprising engineers and account professionals at BSNL has sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi's intervention for the revival of the state-run firm and also said that non-performing employees should be held accountable.

The All India Graduate Engineers and Telecom Officers Association (AIGETOA) in a letter dated June 18 urged the Prime Minister to provide a budgetary support to BSNL to help address liquidity crunch that is adversely impacting operation and maintenance of services at the organisation.

"We firmly believe that with minimum basic support from the government to do away with the current liquidity crunch, BSNL can once again enter into the league of profit-making companies," the letter said.

The association also stressed on a performance-based mechanism for BSNL employees so that good performers can be rewarded and non-performers be made accountable.

Both state-run telecom firms BSNL and MTNL have been reporting losses since the time they were asked to pay auction determined spectrum price in 2010 for all the circles where they operate.

MTNL operates in Delhi and Mumbai and BSNL in rest of the 20 telecom circles.

While MTNL has been continuously posting loss and has showed no signs of revival, BSNL posted operating profit of Rs 672 crore in 2014-15, Rs 3,885 crore in 2015-16 and Rs 1,684 crore in 2016-17.

The association said that predatory market condition has brought the whole sector, including BSNL, under stress but the public-sector firm's market share kept moving in an upward direction.

"BSNL remained self-dependent and almost debt-free which is basically in sharp contrast to other telecom players which have been severely debt-ridden owing to huge loans taken from banks and other financial institutions," the association said.

It said BSNL has never defaulted on payment of salaries to its employees except for one month and even during that stressful period, the form managed operations from its own resources and without any external support.

(with news agency inputs)