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BSNL union seeks scrapping of AMCs to curb further expenses

Rajesh Kurup Mumbai | Updated on October 17, 2019 Published on October 16, 2019

File photo   -  SOMASHEKAR GRN

About ₹2,000 crore is spent unnecessarily on annual maintenance contracts, say executives

As an austerity measure, executives of the debt-laden Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) are ready to take over the maintenance of all equipment installed by the public sector unit (PSU).

About ₹2,000 crore is spent unnecessarily on annual maintenance contracts (AMCs) covering equipment such as switches, engine alternators, small power plants and air conditioners.

With about 46,500 executives on its payroll, BSNL should avoid giving AMCs to external agencies and firms, the executives argue. The AMCs are also resulting in double expenditure for the company, which already has adequate staff at the locations covered by the AMCs, sources close to the development told BusinessLine.

The Sanchar Nigam Executives’ Association (SNEA) had already written a letter to BSNL Chairman and Managing Director PK Purwar in this regard.

“BSNL has taken decisions during last few months to reduce the expenditure by the field units on electricity payments, labour charges and vehicle charges, among others. Ban on all the capital expenditure almost stopped provision of new landline and Fibre-To-The-Home (FTTH) connections and leased circuits, among others,” said the letter signed by SNEA General Secretary Sebastin K. The Annual Repair Contract (ARC) entered into with the Centre for Development of Telematics should also be scrapped, it said, adding that BSNL executives are “well equipped” to maintain every equipment in the company’s network.

Earlier, the All Unions and Associations of BSNL (AUAB) called for a one-day hunger strike on Friday to protest against non-payment of September salary and seeking timely payment of salary every month. The unions will also hold lunch-hour demonstrations across all circles on the same day.

Separately, the SNEA has called for relay hunger fasts from November 4-8 at BSNL’s corporate office. The association will also resort to indefinite hunger fast from November 11 onwards without further notice, said sources in SNEA.

Sources in SNEA said that the Government had promised of “deciding” on BSNL’s revival package by and crediting September salary before Diwali.

The Unions demands include immediate payment of September salary, timely payment of salary every month, payment of contract and casual workers wages, electricity bills and rentals, revival of BSNL by immediate allocation of 4G spectrum, extension of financial assistance and soft loan and approval for BSNL’s land monetisation plans among others.

Published on October 16, 2019
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