Of course all of you may be aware that All India BSNL DOT Pensioners Association is all set to organise yet another agitational programme culminating in the March to Sanchar Bhawan on 24th August, 2022. The first of the three phased programme, Demands Day on 22nd June, 2022 was held all over the country by holding powerful demonstration at all levels. The second programme, Mass Dharna at SSA level is being held on 20th July 2022.
It is a known fact that AIBDPA has conducted numerous agitations in the past, not only for pension revision from 01-01-2017, but also on pension revision for the pre 2007 BSNL pensioners, 78.2% IDA fitment, annulment of 60:40 condition etc.It may be in your memory that when the earlier Minister of Communications, Shri. Ravi Shankar Prasad took a tough stand in 2019 that pension revision is possible only after wage revision, most of the pensioners organisations opted for legal recourse. But AIBDPA had no hesitation to continue the struggle to achieve the demand as in the past.
Accordingly, our Central Executive Committee meeting held at Guwahati in November, 2019 decided a phased programme of agitation culminating in a Parliament March. The CEC also authorised CHQ to explore the possibility of a joint agitation of all the pensioners organisations and therefore didn’t decide the dates. We wrote to all the pensioners organisations requesting to join the agitation in the best interests of BSNL retirees and they may suggest any changes / modifications for the struggle. Unfortunately, we got response from only three organisations and that too were not for joining the struggle. In these circumstances, AIBDPA was compelled to go it alone.
Firstly, an extensive campaign among the pensioners was held in December 2019 and signatures of pensioners in the memorandum to Hon ‘ble Prime Minister were collected during SSA level conventions. Another important program was meeting the Parliament Members in January, 2020. Our comrades could meet 112 MP, including Lok Sabha Speaker, two Cabinet Ministers and five State Ministers and submitted detailed memorandum on pension revision for taking up with government.
Then the next program was day long fasting Mass Dharna at CCA Offfices on 12th February, 2020 which happened to be a stupendous success. We had made all the preparations for the culminating Parliament March on 12th March, 2020. Unfortunately, we had to postpone the most important agitation due to the break out of Corona pandemic in Delhi and other parts of the country.Even during the period of pandemic, we have continued our efforts on pension revision and the issue again came to limelight after an effective intervention made through Shri. John Brittas MP. Some other MPs also wrote to the Minister on pension revision which was followed by meeting the Minister and top officers of the DoT by certain pensioners organizationns. The wide propaganda made on these developments created an impression among the pensioners that the issue is going to be settled shortly.
Meanwhile AIBDPA held its Central Executive Committee meeting on 5th March, 2022 and after reviewing the developments decided for another agiitational program on pension revision, denial of medical benefits, nonpayment of frozen IDA installments etc. The CEC authorized CHQ to decide the form of agitation at the appropriate time. It was under these circumstances that AIBDPA delegation comprising Com. V A N Namboodiri, Advisor and K G Jayaraj, General Secretary held discussions with the top officers of the DoT, including Secretary, Additional Secretary, Joint Secretary, Member (Finance), Member (Services) DDG(Estt). The delegation also held discussions with the officers in DOPPW What the delegation could understand from these discussions was that DoT still has no definite idea/proposal for pension revision. Here one thing is very clear that it is the central government to take a decision on pension revision. And considering the class character of the present government, nothing will be conceded without struggle.
So, only under this compelling situation AIBDPA CHQ has given shape for the three phased agiitational programmers as follows,
1. Demands Day on 22-06-2022- Demonstration at all levels
2 Mass Dharna at SSA level on 20th July, 20223.
March to Sanchez Bhawan on 24th August, 2022
Our stand is further vindicated with the latest information that Internal Finance of DoT has rejected the “proposal /proposals”of DoT (Estt) and has reiterated the stand of the government that pension revision is possible only after wage revision.