BSNL: Employees Rally Behind Management During Crores Of Losses
PSU BSNL has been going through a phase of financial difficulties, suffering heaving losses a significant period now. But the employee union of PSU has backed and rallied behind the management, saying that despite all these losses, BSNL is continuing to expand its mobile customer base at a significant pace.
In a statement released on Wednesday, BSNL Employee Union (BSNLEU), one of the largest union of PSU said, “In 2017-18, BSNL’s mobile customer grew by 11.5%, whereas Airtel’s mobile customers grew by only 9.5%, Vodafone’s grew by 3.8% and Idea’s grew by only 3.2%.”
“Even in April 2019, BSNL has added 2,32,487 new mobile customers, whereas, Airtel has lost 29,52,209 mobile customers and Vodafone Idea has lost 15,82,142 mobile customers,” it added.
Pointing out at the current market situation and low-cost, cut-throat competition, the union went further on to say: “BSNL’s position is not so bad, as compared to the private operators. As of today, BSNL’s outstanding debt is only Rs 13,000 crore. Whereas, Vodafone Idea’s debt is Rs 1,18,000 crore and Airtel’s debt is Rs 1,08,000 crore.”
“Even Reliance Jio is having a huge debt of Rs 1,12,100 crore. Further, BSNL’s financial foundations are sufficiently strong. It is having an optic fibre network of 7.5 lakh route km whereas, Reliance Jio’s OFC network is only of 3.5 lakh route kilometres, Airtel’s OFC network is of 2.50 lakh route km and Vodafone Idea’s OFC network is of 1.60 lakh route km,” the union said.
The union also shared the amount of vacant land BSNL has across the country that is valued at Rs 1 lakh crore. It said, “No other company is having such huge assets.”
The union then point finger at the previous UPA government and said, “It is the same BSNL, with one lakh employees more on it rolls, had earned Rs 10,000 crore net profit in 2004-05. However, thereafter, the UPA government did not allow BSNL to procure equipment for 7 long years for the expansion of its networks.”
The people in remote and backward areas depend upon BSNL only for their communications requirements. “It is the responsibility of the government to ensure BSNL’s financial viability”.
The union said private companies have rolled out their 4G services almost 5 years back. But, BSNL still hasn’t been allotted 4G spectrum by the government. “This is how the policy decisions of the government have seriously hampered the growth of BSNL,” BSNL EU said on the same day when Telecom Minister R.S. Prasad too, spoke on the PSUs (BSNL & MTNL) in the Lok Sabha.