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THE SAME OLD WINE IN A NEW BOTTLE

.AIBSNLPWA has forged another opportunistic alliance with certain BSNL and mostly MTNL pensioners organisations. Well and good. But this is nothing new. Earlier also they had formed such coordination but didn’t last even for the honeymoon period.

When the former MOC, Shri.Ravi Shankar Prasad took an adamant stand that no pension revision before wage revision, all these organizations got frustrated and lost all hopes. They decided to resort to legal recourse. But they could not reach to a consensus for formulating the fitment formula and this has naturally reflected in the affidavits filed by these organisations in separate cases at PCAT, New Delhi. Now, some of these organisations have started to admit the futility of approaching the court.

There are hundreds of pensioners organisations claiming representatives of BSNL and MTNL pensioners. But very few have the pan India status. Some are for a section or cadres, some other confined to a particular district or state. So the numbers of such organisations are of no significance.

The new alliance partners have given a letter to the Secretary, DoT with the same demand of the dominant partner, Pension revision with 7th CPC fitment. Some of the alliance partners have made Great sacrifice by conveniently changing their earlier stand. We don’t question their rights for changing the stand every now and then.

We are of the strong opinion that the demand of CPC fitment is illogical and unrealistic. It is applicable only to the central government pensioners drawing pension on CDA pay scales. We are the only PSU pensioners getting pension from the central government by virtue of Rule 37A of CCS(Pension) Rules, 1972 on IDA pay scales. Accordingly our pension was revised as per 2nd PRC fitment from 01-01-2007. So there is full justification for the pension revision from 01-01-2017 with 3rd PRC fitment.

It is a fact that the earlier pension revision was only after wage revision of the employees. But this time the wage revision is being denied / delayed citing affordability conditions stipulated by the PRC. However, the same PRC has given a provision to waive the affordability conditions in the case of CPSEs which implement the government projects. This is very much applicable to BSNL as it is the only telecm PSU providing telecom facilities to rural areas based on the National Telecom Policy incurring huge loss and to remote defense establishments. The former CMD, Anupam Shrivastava had put forward his arguments to the government for pay revision in BSNL with 15% fitment highlighting this provision. But this was not considered by the government for obvious reasons.

Now , the full liability of payment of pension and pensionary benefits lies with the Central government. particularly in the wake of annulment of 60:40 condition. More over the pension contribution of BSNL absorbed pensioners has been levied by the government at the maximum of their pay scales. Therefore pension revision of BSNL absorbed pensioners are no way connected with the affordability conditions or bad financial position of BSNL.

Then Comrades, there should be pay scales for fixing the pension. Those who demand pension revision with CPC fitment has to clarify on which pay scales the pension is to be fixed. Whether on CDA pay scales of 7th CPC.? Or on 3rd PRC IDA pay scales. It is nothing but ridiculous if the demand is for CPC fitment on 3rd PRC scales. The 3rd PRC has specified the pay scales of the executives only and the pay scales of the non-executives are yet to be finalised by the BSNL management through bilateral discussions with the recognised unions. So our principled and right demand of 15% fitment is based on Rule 37A of CCS(Pension) Rules, 1972 and the precedence.

Then, these people say that the DoT has proposed for zero percent fitment which is yet to be confirmed. It is true that there is no such zero percent fitment proposal by the 3rd PRC.We strongly protest and condemn if such a proposal is made by the DoT. However the proposal to delink pension revision from wage revision by DoT is a welcome development.

We are committed to continue our efforts and struggles to achieve pension revision with 15% fitment from 01-01-2017. This is the logical and practical way to settle pension revision. It means continuing the same method as adopted at the time of II PRC which was agreed to by all employees and pensioners organisations, including those who now demanding pension revision on 7th CPC fitment.

HUMAN CHAIN ON 14-09-2022 BY COC MADE A RESOUNDING SUCCESS.

The Coordination Committee of BSNLEU, AIBDPA & BSNLCCWF had given a call to organise human chain on 14-09-2022 against handing over of national assets at throw away prices to the corporates in the name of National Monetisation Pipeline and against the road blocks being created by the government on launching 4G in BSNL. 14,917 mobile towers and the most valuable optical fibre of BSNL are also being handed over to the private telecom companies. The employees, pensioners and casual contrat workers enthusiastically and massively participated in the human organised at district level throughout the country. CHQ heartily congratulate and salute the participants for making the programme a grand success and giving a strong message to the Modi government against the injustice. Some of the photos are given hereunder;

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KOLKATA

CHENNAI

SILCHAR,ASSAM DISTRICT CONFERENCE HELD SUCCESSFULLY.

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The 3rd biennial district conference of Silchar was held with good participation of pensioners on 12th September, 2022. Com. S N Sarma, Circle Secretary inaugurated the confernce explaining the important issues of the pensioners, the struggles launched by AIBDPA and the achievements, particularly settlement of medical benefits pending for the last four years. After the adoption of the report and audited accounts, a new set of 17 office bearers with Com.Dipak Chakraborty (President) and Com. Sujit Choudhury (District Secretary) were elected unanimously.

4TH TRIENNIAL ALL INDIA CONFERENCE- RECEPTION COMMITTEE FORMED.

The 4th triennial All India Conference of AIBDPA is scheduled to be held at Mysuru, Karnataka on 20th&21st December, 2022. The Reception Committee has been formed in a largely attended meeting at Bangalore on 08-11-2022. The following comrades were elected to the Reception Committee;

Advisors: (1) Com.G G Patil, Former AGS. (2) Com.C K Gundanna (AGS & Circle President, BSNLEU) (3) Com.H V Sudharashan (Circle Secretary, BSNLEU) (4) Com.H C Prakash (AGS,AIBDPA) (5) Com. Irfan Pasha, All India Treasurer,BSNLEU)

Chairman: Com.R B Tatapati (Circle President, AIBDPA)

Vice Chairmen: (1) Com. Basavaraj (District Secretary,AIBDPA) (2) Com.Puttaswamy, District Secretary, BSNLEU)

General Secretary: Com. Muddaiah ( Circle Secretary, AIBDPA) Mobile No. 9448344162.

Treasurer: Com.Annigeri (Circle Treasurer, AIBDPA) Mobile No.9448415770

NALGONDA DISTRICT CONFERENCE HELD BEFITTINGLY.

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The 4th biennial Conference of Nalgonda District, Telangana was held at BSNL Bhawan, Nalgonda on 11-09-2022. Coms. D Shankar, CHQ Vice President and Ramachandradu, Circle Secretary addressed the conference and explained the issues and the just concluded agitational programme. The biennial report and audited accounts presented by the District Secretary and Treasurer were approved after discussion. Coms. K Ramachandram (President) N Sudharshan Reddy (District Secretary) V Chandra Reddy(Treasurer) are the important functionaries elected unanimously.

OPEN LETTER OF AIBSNLPWA – AN INSULT TO OTHER PENSIONERS ORGANISATIONS.

It has come to our notice an open letter floated by AIBSNLPWA inviting other pensioners organisations for a joint online meeting on 12th September, 2022 on pension revision issue.

Is this organisation sincere and serious of the joint efforts for the settlement of this vital issue.?

We don’t think so.

Primarily this is not the proper way to invite other organisations.Are the other organisations not known to them and are these organisations address less to call them through an open letter? This type of treatment amounts to nothing but insult.

AIBDPA has also tried for a joint struggle earlier in 2020 for the settlement of the important issue by writing to all the important organisations individually. So the intention of this organisation is not actually for unity of all the pensioners organisations but only to save their skin from utter embarrassment.

They claimed that their proposal for pension revision with CPC fitment has been agreed to by the MOC. DoT also approved it and sent to DOP&PW. It was published in their website under the name of the General Secretary on 25-08-2022. The date of the posting is important that it was on the previous day AIBDPA staged an historic and massive Sanchar Bhawan March participated by more than 2000 pensioners in culmination of the three phased agitation started with the Demands Day on 22-06-2022 and followed by Mass Dharna at SSA level on 20th July. Perhaps the biggest agitation in the history of any pensioners movement in India. Naturally, this has put the Government to tremendous pressure and compelled to do something positive. The struggle got support and solidarity from all central government employees and pensioners organisations led by Confederation and NCCPA, AIPRPA, Trade Union International ( Pensioners & Retirees) and main Service union in BSNL , BSNLEU which is also a significant factor for positive result. BSNL management had to allot necessary funds for clearing medical bills and allowance pending for the last four years. Also the management has now issued orders for regulating the payment of Medical benefits at par with the employees.

After the General Secretary, their President again wrote in their website glorifying the “Great Achievement” and praising and thanking the General Secretary, Vice President etc as if orders are issued. He also claimed the sole authority and proprietorship of the achievement.The very next day, their General Secretary vide his posting had to state that according to another pensioners organisation, the DoT proposal is reported to be for zero percent fitment and complained that DoT is not transparent. All these have thoroughly exposed the hollowness of their tall and fake claims even among their own members. And that is why we say that the open letter is nothing but another gimmick to save their skin.

We are not in the habit of spreading speculations and rumours and it is unbecoming of any genuine organisation

.Regarding Pension Revision, basically it is only the Central Government to take a decision and once a positive decision is taken by the government, no buerocracy can scuttle it. So there is no point in accusing the buerocracy alone. The stand of the government is based on its neoliberal policy being implemented aggressively. It is not because one minister culture less and another minister cultured. So pressure has to be exerted through struggles to change the stand of the government and that is what exactly AIBDPA is doing.

We don’t belittle the efforts of any pensioners organisation on the issue of pension revision. We have the firm opinion that we want the support of the employees organisations also for the settlement of pension revision as in the case of pension revision in 2007, 78.2% IDA fitment and annulment of 60:40 condition etc. It is also to be remembered that in 2018, in the wake of the two days strike by AUAB, the then Minister had to state that pension revision will be delinked from wage revision

So the need of the hour is to build broad unity not only among the pensioners organisations but also that of the employees organisations. It is also important that mere lip service will not serve the purpose but further powerful agitations may be warranted for a reasonable settlement of pension revision.We shall wholeheartedly welcome any initiative from any organisation in this direction.

HUMAN CHAIN AGAINST NATIONAL MONETISATION PIPELINE TO BE ORGANISED ON 14-09-2022.

The Co-ordination Committee (CoC) of BSNLEU, AIBDPA and BSNL CCWF had already given call to organise a Human Chain programme, against the National Monetisation Pipeline, disinvestment  and privatisation policies of the government. However, this programme had to be postponed under unavoidable circumstance. Now, the Co-ordination Committee has decided to organise this Human Chain programme on 14.09.2022. This programme should be organised in places where the general public gather. All the circle and district secretaries of AIBDPA are requested to successfully organise this Human Chain programme, in coordination with the BSNLEU and BSNL CCWF. Please give wide publicity of the programme and reports/photos be sent to CHQ..

COM.M R DAS BEREAVED.

CHQ is saddened to report the sad demise of Ms. Jyotsa Das, beloved wife of Com.M R Das, AGS at Guwahati on 04th September, 2022. She was ailing for some time long and under traetment in various hospitals, including the Super Speciality hospital at Bangalore. Unfortunately all these efforts could not save her life and she breathed her last due to multiple organ failure. CHQ pays homage to the departed wife of Com.M R Das and conveys heartfelt condolences to him and other family members.