Centre accused of attempting to privatise BSNL

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Tiruchirapalli, Jan 4 (UNI) The National Federation of Telecom Employees (NFTE) today charged the Union Government with indirectly continuing its attempt to privatise the BSNL, ignoring the interests of about 3.5 lakh employees and 3,000 officials of the organisation.

Addressing the press here, NFTE All India General Secretary C K Mathivanan said when the government came out with a proposal for making the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) a corporation (BSNL), we hoped it would be a good move to compete with private telecom service providers.

Moreover, the government gave an assurance that employee interests would be protected. But now the government was not only violating its assurances, but also attempting to divest stake in the BSNL to open the gates for private telecom service providers, Mr Mathivanan claimed.

He alleged DoT officials numbering about 3,000 still hesitated to join BSNL as they did not wanted to lose their status as government servants.

The ban on recruitment in the last 25 yers resulted in a large number of vacancies in the BSNL which ultimately affected its services to its customers, he claimed.

The BSNL Board had no power for taking any decision, like erecting new mobile towers to improve phone services. This caused concern to its customers.

On wage hike, Mr Mathivanan said even after one year there was no move to revise payscales. He sought an interim relief of Rs 5,000 a month till the wages were revised.

To a specific question, he alleged the authorities were still attempting to divest 20 per cent of BSNL shares to private players.

He said the department's attitude was compelling the NFTE to come out with a new struggle which would be decided shortly.

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