All India BSNL Pensioners' Welfare Association.

Archives-News

09/12




We are happy to receive the message through Com. G S Bajwa, CS, Punjab that a new branch of AIBSNLPWA has been opened at the beautiful town of Palampur, Himachal Pradesh in a meeting held on 5-12-2019.

Comrades Kishori Lal Sharma, Om Prakash, Sarwan Singh Rana, Chuni Lal and Yog Raj are elected as President, Vice President, Secretary, Assistant Secretary and Treasurer respectively.

22 comrades have enrolled as life members of the new branch.

CHQ Welcome the new branch, the new members.



09/12

NEXT CWC MEETING AT GORAKHPUR UP

Next meeting of CWC of AIBSNLPWA will be held on 15-16, March 2020 at Gorakhpur, UP.Formal notice has been posted to all CWC members. Same is posted in CWC Group, Whatsapp also. Venue and accommodation for CWC members are arranged at Chitra Gupta Mandir, Near Government Jubilee Inter College, Buxipur Road, Gorakhpur. It is 2 KMs away from Gorakhpur Jn Railway Station and 10 KMs away from the new Gorakhpur Airport. The accommodation will be available from 14 to 17.Visitors and Observers , if any, have to make their own arrangements.All CWC members are requested to reserve their tickets, to and fro, well in time.

P Gangadhara Rao,General Secretary.


cwc-notice-2.pdf

cwc-gkp1.pdf




05/12

The time prescribed by BSNL for opting VRS was 5.30 PM on 3-12-2019. Out of the 1,53,786 staff 78,569 have opted for VRS. 5237 people who opted earlier have withdrawn before the prescribed time.

75,217 people will remain in service of BSNL. 8403 of them are in the age group of 58-60 years.

Some message is being circulated in whatsapp groups that DoT is not happy with the number of options as it did not reach the target of 80,000. Hence the DoT is thinking of reducing the retirement age to 58 so that 8000 more can be sent out.

We have no idea if it is true of not. These days, anybody can spread any rumour.

About 650 ITS officers are still in BSNL on deputation. They have not joined the BSNL even after 19 years. It is also reported that BSNL has requested DoT to deploy another 200 ITS officers to BSNL to face the post VRS situation.

Strange indeed. Without field staff how can the BSNL provide the telephone service in the rural India? Who will go to the field when there are some natural calamities, as pointed by Minister Sh. Ravi Shankar Prasad?

The year 2020 will be very crucial for Indian telecom service, for BSNL company, for BSNL staff and for BSNL retirees.

Click here to see the details vrs-final.pdf



30/11



Kerala circle Conference was held on 15th October 2019. At that time orders on VRS were not issued. But anticipating such a development the Circle conference decided to hold special general body meetings or conventions in all SSAs. Accordingly all district Units have completed the organizational task. Number of VRS optees attended these meetings and raised number of queries. In addition to Circle leaders, CHQ leaders in Kerala like P S Ramankutty, R N Pada Nair and Smt A P Saraswathy participated in the meetings and explained various aspects of Revival and VRS. .

few photos



27/11

WE REPORT WITH DEEP SORROW THAT OUR AGS COM S. ARUNACHALAM EXPIRED ON 26-11-19 AT TRICHY AT HIS DAUGHTERS HOUSE. HE WAS 73.

A MAN OF WIT AND WISDOM, COM ARUNACHALAM WAS A SOFT SPOKEN DEDICATED LEADER, WITH DEEP UNDERSTANDING OF RULES AND ISSUES AND LONG EXPERIENCE IN TU. IT IS A GREAT LOSS FOR US.

HE HAD RECENTLY COMPILED THE PROCEDURES AND RULES REGARDING SWITCHING OVER TO CGHS FOR THE BENEFIT OF BSNL PENSIONERS. HE ATTENDED THE TAMILNADU PENSION ADALAT AT KUMBAKONAM TWO DAYS BACK. THEN HE PROCEEDED TO HIS DAUGHTERS HOUSE AT TRICHY. HE SUDDENLY DEVELOPED SOME UNEASINESS AND ON THE WAY TO HOSPITAL HE COLLAPSED. HIS BODY IS TAKEN TO HIS NATIVE PLACE AT TIRUNELVELI WHERE THE FUNERAL WILL BE HELD.

WE HAVE A LOST A COMMITTED LEADER.

AIBSNLPWA CHQ CONVEYS OUR DEEP RESPECTS FOR THE LEADER.


As Com. Gangadhara Rao and myself are unable to go to Tirunelveli, Com. D Gopalakrishnan and Com. Muthiyalu will go and represent CHQ in the funeral of our beloved comrade today....


26/11

WITH DEEP REGRET WE REPORT THE DEMISE OF COM V.A.HARSULKAR FORMER GENERAL SECRETARY OF T3 UNION AT DELHI TODAY HE WAS 94

AIBSNLPWA PAYS ITS RESPECTS

24/11



COM. K MUTHIYALU, Dy GS BEING FELICITATED


COM R H MITKARY AND COM. H S PRASAD LIGHT THE LAMP


COMRADES S K JAIN, B P S CHAUHAN AND M P TIWARI ARE ELECTED AS

CIRCLE PRESIDENT, CIRCLE SECRETARY AND CIRCLE TREASURER RESPECTIVELY.





24/11



COM. J S DAHIYA, AGS SPEAKS

COM. J S MALIK, CS PRESENTS THE REPORT


COMRADES J S DAHIYA, J S MALIK AND RAM PHOOL ARE ELECTED AS

CIRCLE PRESIDENT, CIRCLE SECRETARY AND CIRCLE TREASURER RESPECTIVELY.




19/11

VRS TARGET ACHIEVED

Within two weeks, the Management of BSNL/MTNL has achieved the target. More than 80,000 people of BSNL and 13414 people of MTNL have opted for VRS. The counter is open till 3-12-2019.

There are many doubts in the mind of employees; but fear psychosis is overwhelming.

.... What will happen to BSNL and MTNL with depleted staff strength?

.... What will happen to the rural telecommunication service?

.... How new service can be provided to people with 4G, if allotted to BSNL?

.... Whether the pension cases will be settled soon by DoT Cells when one lakh people retire suddenly? will VRS Optees get pension in February 2020?

.... As BSNL has not paid the pension contribution can DoT settle the pension cases?

.... As BSNL has not remitted the GPF contribution deducted from the salary of staff how accumulated GPF amount can be paid to retirees?

.... How commuted portion of pension can be paid after five years without amending the rules?

There are many such questions…..

No answer from BSNL/MTNL Management.

AUAB leaders met the Director yesterday. They got only one assurance from the Director that October salary will be paid on 28, November 2019!

What about November Salary? No answer.

Unfortunately, AUAB leaders are not unanimous in facing the crisis. Hence the proposed 3 days hunger strike from 20-11-2019 stands postponed, as reported in the website of BSNLEU.


11/11

Circle Executive Committee of Andhra circle met at Kurnool on 10-11-2019. Com. K Muthiyalu, Dy GS attended on behalf of CHQ and spoke elaborately on various issues.



11/11

As all of you are aware, we have been collecting donations from our members all over the country towards Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund, to help the victims of unprecedented rains and floods that affected lakhs of people in our country this year. We have done it in the past also when there were such natural calamities/disasters in Uthranchal, Andhra, Orissa, Chennai, Tamilnadu, Kodagu, Kerala etc.etc.

Our members from almost all circles responded positively to CHQ call and donated liberally. We could collect Rs. 37.94 lakhs from Circles. To make it Rs 40 lakhs, CHQ added a sum of Rs 2.05 lakh. We wanted to make over the fund to a central minister. Shri Pralhad Joshi, Minister for parliamentary affairs used to be in his constituency of Hubli on Saturdays and Sundays. We approached his office. They tentatively fixed the date as 9, November 2019. We announced our intension to organize the function on 9-11-2019 through our whasapp group.

As General Secretary was indisposed due to spondylosis, Com. P S Ramankutty and Com.D Gopalakrishnan were requested to go to Hubli. Com. DG could not go alone due to some health problem. Com. Vittoban also was indisposed. Finally Com. Rama Rao, Asst Treasurer accompanied DG, carried the Bank Cheque and attended the function. Com. Radhakrishna, AGS from Karnataka and Com.Changappa, CS Karnataka also went to Hubli. Com. G Babu, VP from Bangalore had to cancel his journey at the last moment. In view of Supreme Court verdict, Section 144 was imposed in Hubli town on 9-11-2019. Despite that, good number of comrades came from Hubli, Dharward, Belgavi, Bagalkot, Bijapur etc. Though the number of participants was less it was a lovely function, well organized.

Minister Shri Joshi came straight from the airport to the function organized in the conference hall of PGMT, Hubli. Com. S T Pawar, DS welcomed all. Com. P S Ramankutty, in his introductory speech mentioned briefly the welfare activities of AIBSNLPWA. Then he, along with other leaders, made over the Cheque for Rs 40 lakhs to the honourable minister.

Shri Pralhad Joshiji very much appreciated the efforts made by the Association. He commented that “ This shows that you are retired but not tired. While in service people may donate when the Boss donates. After retirement there is no such obligation. Even then you, the pensioners, have donated very good amount of Rs 40 lakhs. It is great efforts….”

After the function we had a brief discussion with Joshiji on our pension revision. He read our memorandum carefully, asked some specific clarifications trying to understand the issue. We clarified the points to his satisfaction .

Finally he assured us help to settle the matter and asked us to come to Delhi in first week of December 2019.

Cheque being handed over


Minister Sh. Joshiji speaks.


A view of audience


Com. DG speaks


Shri Pralhad Joshiji reads our memorandum on pension revision

to see the details of donations received please click here; pmnrf-upto-6-11-2019.pdf





06/11

Many comrades were asking our comments on VRS package etc. We did not want to jump into any hasty conclusion. So we waited. Our GS Com. Gangadhra Rao is not well. We could not consult each other and prepare any document.

Hence, I am giving my personal observations hereunder:

The scheme is formally announced now only. Our present members are not affected/benefitted by the VRS. Staff Unions have to react and give proper guidelines to remove the confusion. Some Staff unions, as usual, project the VRS as their historic achievement. Some others do not like it but they are helpless.

[They have not properly reacted to the ‘substandard’ speech of new CMD. Present CMD should understand that his predecessors only moved the BSNL to ventilator. It was total mismanagement all along. Can the new CMD take any action against them?]

VRS: There is no common formula to calculate the gains. Ex Gratia, in almost all cases of employees above 50 years of age, is limited to 125% of Pay (BP+IDA) of the balance service. Hence, it depends upon mainly on the length of service left. Pension, Gratuity and Pension Commutation are common retirement benefits. Over and above these normal retirement benefits the extra benefit is 25% of total pay of remaining service. HRA is lost till retirement date. Increments in future and increased rate of IDA are also lost. If one has more than 30 months of service left, the immediate monetary benefit is good. At the same time, they will be losing more in monthly pension for the rest of their life.


THE GAME UNDER THE CARPET

It is the government machinery assisted by vested interest social media that project Revival and VRS as great initiatives to uplift BSNL and MTNL.

MAKE IT LEAN AND CLEAN

Through VRS, one lakh workers will be sent out soon. BSNL will be LEAN.

By infusing some funds, government takes over the debt of BSNL and MTNL. They will be CLEAN. MTNL is made subsidiary of BSNL. So, only BSNL remains.

Airtel and Vodafone-Idea are in crisis. Supreme Court has directed them to pay Rs 93000 crore as fine to Govt. With the interest increasing daily, it is now Rs 1.4 lakh CRORE. Both the companies have approached the government for some relaxation. Mr. Mukesh Ambani has asked Minister, Communications to simply throw away their letter. Anytime Airtel and Vodafone may close their shops and exit, as done by Tata.

Then Reliance will be ready to take over BSNL, the LEAN and CLEAN baby. Once that is done, they will hike the tariff. Like LPG. Government will remain a silent spectator. Then people of India will understand the real impact. Till that time propaganda will be against workers, PSUs etc.

WAR is GOING ON. Wait and see who will survive and who will be eliminated.

.PSR



25/10

OUR CASE: ARGUEMENTS OVER

Today, CAT Ernakulam took up our OA 346/18 for arguments. All the Central government pensioners are getting pension @50% of their last pay drawn now irrespective of their date of retirement. But it is not applied in the case of BSNL staff retired before 2006 though all are covered by the same CCS Pension Rule 1972. As a test case, we filed an application against this injustice before CAT Ernakulam. We want that all BSNL pensioners retired before 2006 should also get their pension re-fixed at the rate of 50% of their last pay drawn with all consequential benefits. P S Ramankutty, All India President of AIBSNLPWA is the first applicant.

The case was listed and postponed again and again several times. Finally, today the case was taken up for arguements. Government pleader argued that the new orders are not applicable to IDA pensioners. Our lawyer Adv. Sreeraj countered the same effectively.

Finally, the Judge reserved the case for decision. While going through the arguments and orders, if he desires so he may ask some clarification from the advocates. Otherwise he may pronounce his judgment on a later date which is not declared.

Anyway, arguments are over. That is a progress.


25/10

The Business Today reports:

“The Supreme Court's decision on October 24 in favour of DoT (department of telecommunications) could be a death knell for the telecom sector…

The decision will have a far-reaching impact on the sector, which is already battling with prolonged tariff wars and high debt burden. The profitability of incumbents is seriously under duress. Airtel, for instance, posted net losses of Rs 2,392.2 crore in the quarter ended June 2019. Vodafone Idea recorded net loss of Rs 4,873.9 crore in the same quarter….”

........

There is some indication that one company may file insolvency petition to escape from paying such a huge amount. That will lead to closure of that company.

A great opportunity awaits BSNL.

BSNL MANAGEMENT must rise with an aggressive marketing plan to grab the opportunity and flourish. It needs imagination, talent and professional management.Will it have?...PSR


25/10

PRIVATE TELECOM COMPANIES SHOULD PAY Rs. 92000 CRORE TO GOVT.

Finally, the cat is thrown out of the bag. In accordance with the migration plan of 1999, Telecom Operators have to pay a certain percentage of their revenue to the government as license fee etc. In 2005 a dispute arose between the government of India and the private Operators regarding the amount to be paid.

As usual, the private Operators showed less revenue deducting some expenditure towards rent, dividend etc. Government did not accept that calculation. Number of cases were filed in different courts at different levels. The legal battle continued for 14 years. In the meantime, some companies closed their shops and disappeared. Bharti Airtel had to pay to Rs. 21682.13 Crore and Vodafone Rs 28308 Crore originally. They did not pay pointing out the court cases on the Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR).

Now, on 24-10-2019, the Supreme Court bench, consisting of Justice Arun Mishra, Justice Abdul Nazeer and Justice M R Shah rejected the pleas of private companies and ordered that they should pay the dues with interest and penalty. Net result is that Bharti Airtel and Vodafone together have to pay Rs 92000 crore to the government.

Government has enough money to meet all expenses for the Revival plans. Good.

24/10


Today, 23-10-2019, the cabinet has approved the Revival plan for BSNL and MTNL.
Announcing the decisions, MoC Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad stated :


1. BSNL and MTNL are strategic assets of the Nation. During natural calamities, military actions and for army communication network, banking communication networks etc. only BSNL has given proper help.


2. BSNL and MTNL shall not be closed down. There shall be no disinvestment also.


3. Both the companies will be made competitive. Funds will be raised by issuing bonds, 4 G spectrum will be allotted to BSNL and during the next four years lands of BSNL will be monetized.

4. ATTRACTIVE VRS is offered to reduce the salary expenditure. Rs 17169 cr will be used for giving ex-gratia benefits and Rs 12000 needed for giving pensionary benefits, which is government responsibility.


5. For the time being, MTNL will be made a subsidiary company of BSNL. MTNL cannot be straight away merged now because some of its shares are already disinvested. Such issues will be sorted out on fast tract method.


PSR , 23-10-2019 1720 hrs.


The Press release is attached:

The Union Cabinet today approved the proposal for revival of BSNL and MTNL by administrative allotment of spectrum for 4G services, debt restructuring by raising of bonds with sovereign guarantee, reducing employee costs, monetisation of assets and in-principle approval of merger of BSNL & MTNL.


The following was approved by the cabinet:-
1. Administrative allotment of spectrum for 4G services to BSNL and MTNL so as to enable these PSUs to provide broadband and other data services. The said Spectrum will be funded by the Government of India by capital infusion in these PSUs at a value of Rs 20,140 Cr in addition; the GST amount of Rs 3,674 Cr to this spectrum value will also be borne by the Government of India through Budgetary resources. By using this spectrum allotment, BSNL and MTNL will be able to deliver 4G services, compete in the market and provide high speed data using their vast network including in rural areas.
2. BSNL and MTNL will also raise long-term bonds of Rs 15,000 Cr for which sovereign guarantee will be provided by the Government of India (GoI). With the said resources, BSNL and MTNL will restructure their existing debt and also partly meet CAPEX, OPEX and other requirements.
3. BSNL and MTNL will also offer Voluntary Retirement to their employees, aged 50 years and above through attractive Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS), the cost of which will be borne by the Government of India through budgetary support. The
ex-gratia component of VRS will require Rs. 17,169 Cr in addition, GoI will be meeting the cost towards Pension, Gratuity and Commutation. Details of the scheme will be finalised by BSNL/MTNL.
4. BSNL and MTNL will monetise their assets so as to raise resources for retiring debt, servicing of bonds, network upgradation, expansion and meeting the operational fund requirements.
5. In-principle merger of BSNL and MTNL

It is expected that with the implementation of said revival plan, BSNL and MTNL will be able to provide reliable and quality services through its robust telecommunication network throughout the country including rural and remote areas.
*****
PRESS Release ID :193957)

23/10

CASE AGAIN POSTPONED

Our Case before Ernakulam CAT for pension at the rate of 50% of Last Pay Drawn for all pre-2006 retirees was posted for final disposal today. Our lawyer was ready to argue the case. The bench took up the case also. The government pleader was not present. A junior lady lawyer appeared for the government side informed that she was not prepared for arguement. So the case is posted for 25-10-2019 for final disposal.


17/10

"Justice delayed is justice denied" is a legal maxim meaning that if legal redress is available for a party that has suffered some injury, but is not forthcoming in a timely fashion, it is effectively the same as having no redress at all. Time and again the above maxim was quoted by judges after judges and advocates after advocates. But, the situation is not changed, at least in our country.

On 27,June, 2019, the Honourable Law Minister Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad informed the Rajya Sabha in a written reply that; “43.55 lakh cases are pending in the 25 high courts in the country and over 8 lakh of these are over a decade old”

58669 cases are pending in our Supreme Court alone as on 1-6-2019.

...........................................................................................................

MANIPUR PENSIONERS CASE:

While pension was revised by Manipur State Govt. with effect from 1-1-1996, some injustice was done to those retired before that day. The All Manipur State Pensioners Association approached the High Court. The Single Bench in HC gave a verdict in 1999 in favour pensioners. Govt of Manipur filed appeal against that. Legal fight continued.

Finally, the case went to the Supreme Court. Two months back, the Supreme Court gave its verdict in favour of Pensioners.

Pensioners won their case after 20 years of legal battle.

Still order is not issued by the Government.

By this time, most of the affected pensioners expired.


SO, COURT CASE IS THE LAST RESORT;

AFTER ALL OTHER OPTIONS FAIL,

AFTER EVERY OTHER ATTEMPT FAILS.

…………





16/10

1. Case No. 346/2018: seeking pension revision (78.2) arrears from 1-1-2007, bundled with another case filed by some retired officers of Kerala is now posted to 7-11-2019. It was posted like this several times. One day before the date the case was being postponed by notification. So even now, it is not sure if the case will be heard on 7-11-2019.

Case 2. No 338/2018: Seeking pension fixation at 50% of Last Pay Drawn for all those who retired prior to 1-1-2006. After several postponement it is now posted to 23-10-2019 for final disposal.

We are waiting.