AIPCOC opposes Cabinet decision to hive off BSNL mobile tower assets into a separate subsidiary company

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GUWAHATI, Sept 18: The All India Public Sector and Central Government Officers` Confederation opposes the decision of the Government to off load most powerful and potential assets of BSNL-66,000 mobile towers. This gravely threatens to decelerate an otherwise accelerating growth of BSNL, besides endangering its very existence. Employees of BSNL are determined and ready to pay any price to safeguard existing integrated and time tested composition of BSNL. Massive and prolonged trade union actions are on the anvil to force the Govt. to reverse this retrograde decision. The officers and workmen in the entire public sector will mobilize people against this move.

BSNL is having 1,30,000 2G/3G BTSs installed on these towers. BSNL is going for a major expansion for Rs.6,000 crores in which another 40,000 new BTSs will be added.

The retrograde decision of the Government to rob BSNL of its most potential resources, 66000 mobile towers, is nothing but definite diabolical move towards disinvestment and eventual privatization of the most strategic and prestigious telecom institution of the country. We apprehend that this is to help Reliance Jio. BSNL, ever since advent of privatization in the telecom sector, enabling the Government to successfully and effectively implement telecom policies, maintain competitiveness in the telecom market and defeat cartelization of private operators.

BSNL is the only operator meeting the social obligations of the telecom policies of the Government by providing services to the far flung, remote areas, North Eastern regions and rural places in an extraordinary and exemplary manner.

Braving all odds, huge illegitimate concessions to R-Jio, BSNL has been on an upward growth trajectory when all other telecom service providers are in complete disarray and turmoil. BSNL has been weathering the storm in most spectacular and magnificent way which Government should have duly acknowledged and taken cognizance off instead of the decision to destabilize and disintegrate it.

BSNL has a time tested structure which has been delivering results. In the name of monetization of assets, BSNL cannot be allowed to get disintegrated. Tower sharing growth of BSNL is accelerating at satisfactory proportion of 25% every year and this can be significantly increased without fiddling with the existing structure of BSNL. All such decisions of the Government, relating to other CPSUs, have not only proved counterproductive but have crippled those CPSUs.

Several key proposals of BSNL for monetization of its assets and spurt in its growth have been gathering dust in DOT. Denial of persistent requests of BSNL seeking permission from DOT for optimum utilization of its land assets for specific purposes and arbitrary decision of DOT to reject legitimate request of BSNL to allocate it 4G spectrum to enable it to meet intense emerging competition in the 4G segment are a few instances of sheer indifference of the policy makers towards its full revival and to destabilize and weaken BSNL.

Creation of subsidiary tower company belonging to BSNL will lead to disinvestment or strategic sale of the subsidiary. In the future, BSNL will be forced to pay rent for the BTSs installed on the towers once owned by BSNL.

Any move of the Government to disintegrate or weaken BSNL in any manner will be opposed tooth and nail by the BSNL employees. As a beginning towards our programs of protracted trade union actions, all the unions and the associations in BSNL has held lunch time demonstration throughout the country on 15th September which will be followed by other prolonged and very serious mode of trade union actions.

All India Public Sector and Central Govt Officers Confederation representing 13 lakh officers including banks, insurance, telecom, power, oil, defence, railway, dock, pharmaceuticals and Central Govt. Gazetted officers demands before the Govt. to immediately withdraw the proposal in the larger interest of the country.

 

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