Employees Unions oppose BSNL disinvestment, threaten strike

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New Delhi, Jan 14 (UNI) Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) Unions today strongly opposed the proposed disinvestment of the telecom giant, calling it ''completely unwarranted.'' ''There is no dearth of money with BSNL for its development and expansion as stated by the firm. Almost Rs 40,000 crore is available with BSNL that can be used for the purpose,'' said Mr V A N Namboodiri, Convenor, Joint Forum of BSNL Unions/Associations of non-executives and executives.

He added that it was not the lack of finance but lack of GSM lines and other telecom infrastructure which was hampering the growth and expansion of the state-owned firm.

If the goverment went ahead with the proposal, the Unions would be compelled to resort to agitational programmes, including indefinite strike, Mr Namboodiri said.

The Convenor said in a statement that the disinvestment would be ''the first step to gift the telecom company to private operators,'' instead of bringing funds to BSNL or the government.

He quoted the example of VSNL which was acquired by Tata for Rs 1,320 crore, even when there was liquid cash of more than Rs 1,200 crore wiht VSNL.

UNI SBA SR RS1820

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