BSNL union threatens indefinite strike to protest IPO

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New Delhi, Jan 15 (UNI) Even as the government decides on the proposed initial public offer (IPO) of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL), its union today said it will go on an indefinite strike from February 26 to protest against the disinvestment.

Mr V A N Namboodiri, Convenor, Joint Forum of BSNL Unions/Associations of non-executives and executives said the union strongly opposed the proposed disinvestment of the telecom giant and termed it as ''completely unwarranted.'' Mr Namboodiri yesterday said. ''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,'' He said 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.

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 with the VSNL.


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