BJP MP says govt will kick out 88,000-odd BSNL employees, privatise telco
12 August 2020
BJP MP Anant Kumar Hegde accused BSNL employees of being lazy, incompetent, who he blamed for the misfortune of the state-owned telco. He said it will be privatised and 88,000 employees will be fired.
Hegde said the only way to save the ailing state-run telco is to privatise it.
In 2019, the government said BSNL and its subsidiary MTNL won't be privatised and in October, 2019, introduced a Rs69,000-crore revival plan to improve cash flows, clear employee dues of BSNL and MTNL
Under the plan, the government introduced a Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS), which allowed employees aged above 53 and half to be given 125 per cent remuneration, ie, salary, pension and gratuity, till the age of 60. As many as 78,300 reportedly opted for the scheme, which reportedly allowed BSNL to save 50 per cent of staff-related costs of Rs14,500 crore. As many as 76 per cent of MTNL’s total workforce took VRS.
Hedge also stirred controversy, calling the employees of state-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) “traitors”. He accused BSNL employees of not working hard enough to save the troubled telecom PSU and warned that 88,000 workers will be fired when it is privatised.
“BSNL has a system filled with traitors. I am using accurate words to describe them,” said the BJP legislator while speaking at a virtual event held on Monday at Kumta in Uttara Kannada district. He accused the BSNL employees of being lazy and incompetent and blamed them for the state telecom carrier’s misfortune.
"The government has given money, people require services and there is infrastructure. Yet, they (BSNL employees) don't work. PM talks of Digital India, has provided funds and technology. Yet, they are not willing to work," Hedge reportedly said adding that the only solution left with the government to fix the PSU is to privatise it and fire 88,000 employees.
Meanwhile, the telecom ministry has reworked BSNL’s 4G network upgradation tender to exclude Chinese companies after Chinese army’s provocation at the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh's Galwan valley, leading to a violent clash.
BSNL earlier scrapped the Rs8,697 tender which it floated in March following allegations that it had not followed public procurement norms to allow more Indian players under the 'Make in India' programme.