EXTENDED CEC MEETING OF BSNLEU CONCLUDED AT PUNE .

The three days Extended Central Executive Committee meeting of BSNL Employees Union held at Pune from 29th July,2019 has concluded successfully on 31st July. There was a serious and fruitful discussion on the report presented by Com.P. Abhimanyu, General Secretary on the important issues, including, revival of BSNL, achievements of BSNLEU and the ensuing 8th Membership verification.  83 District Secretaries and other senior leaders enthusiastically participated in the discussion and agreed with the line spelt out by the General Secretary. The CEC helped to create great enthusiasm and confidence among the participants.

The attractive poster, both in English and Hindi, for the membership verification was also released in the Extended CEC meeting.

OUT OF Rs. 92,641 CRORE LICENSE FEES ,BSNL OWES ONLY Rs.2098 CRORE.

 

Telecom Firms Owe Over Rs 92,000 Crore as Licence Fees Till Date, Centre Tells SC

In an affidavit filed in the top court, Department of Telecom said that as per calculations, Airtel owes Rs 21,682.13 crore as licence fee to the government. Dues from Vodafone totaled Rs 19,823.71 crore while Reliance Communications owed a total of Rs 16,456.47 crore.

 
 

New Delhi: Leading private telecom firms like Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and state-owned MTNL and BSNL have pending licence fee outstanding of over Rs 92,000 crore till date, the Centre has told the Supreme Court.

In an affidavit filed in the top court, Department of Telecom (DoT) said that as per calculations, Airtel owes Rs 21,682.13 crore as licence fee to the government. Dues from Vodafone totaled Rs 19,823.71 crore while Reliance Communications owed a total of Rs 16,456.47 crore, DoT said.

BSNL owed Rs 2,098.72 crore while MTNL owed Rs 2,537.48 crore, it said. The total amount which has to be recovered from all the telecom firms accrues to Rs 92,641.61 crore as on date, it said.

As per the New Telecom Policy, telecom licensees are required to share a percentage of their Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) with the government as annual License Fee (LF).

In addition, mobile telephone operators were also required to pay Spectrum Usage Charges (SUC) for the use of radio frequency spectrum allotted to them.

Telecom operators had moved the top court against the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal’s (TDSAT) order which ruled that certain non-telecom revenues like rent, profit on sale of fixed assets, dividend and treasury income would be counted as adjusted gross revenue (AGR), on which licence fee would have to be paid to the government.

The TDSAT order had exempted a large number of streams from the definition of AGR, like capital receipts, bad debt, distribution margins to dealers, forex fluctuations, sale of scrap and waiver of late fee.

The telecom tribunal also said revenue from non-core sources such as rent, profit on sale of fixed assets, dividend, interest and miscellaneous income must be included while computing a carrier’s AGR, dealing a setback to telecom operators who would have to shell out more towards licence and spectrum usage fees.

S JAIPAL RADDY PASSED AWAY.

 

Former Union Minister and senior Congress leader S Jaipal Reddy passed away on 28th July at the age of 77 in Hyderabad. He was a four-time Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) and five-time Member of Parliament (MP). He was also a two-time Rajya Sabha MP and was a union minister in three governments. He was admitted to the Asian Institute of Gastroenterology in Gachibowli a week ago and was being treated for high fever in the ICU.

Jaipal Reddy was a good orator and an excellent parliamentarian and he never allowed his physical disability to come in the way of his hectic political career. He had quit the Congress for a brief period in protest against the declaration of emergency by Indira Gandhi and had joined Janata Party.

AIBDPA pays respectful homage to the departed leader and convey heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family.

 

AIRPORT PRIVATISATION-RECOMMENDATIONS OF FINANCE MINISTRY AND NITI AAYOG BRUSHED ASIDE TO FAVOUR ADANI- REPORTS THE HINDU.

 

Finance Ministry, NITI Aayog guidelines ignored in airport privatisation

Central Industrial Security Force personnel stand guard at the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International airport in Ahmedabad. FileCentral Industrial Security Force personnel stand guard at the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International airport in Ahmedabad. File   | Photo Credit: AFP

 

Adani gained as curb on numbers, experience norm set aside.

A Finance Ministry recommendation not to award the same player more than two airports, out of a total of six to be privatised by the Centre, was among some of the key suggestions brushed aside by the government panel for public private partnerships — the PPP Appraisal Committee (PPPAC) — effectively leading to Adani Enterprises Limited emerging as the winning bidder for all airports.

Following the Union Cabinet’s in-principle nod in November 2018 to privatise six airports owned by the Airports Authority of India (AAI), the PPPAC met on December 11 to recommend the proposal for final approval.

The panel dismissed key suggestions made by the Finance Ministry’s Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) and the NITI Aayog to improve criteria for selecting bidders.

These included the requirement of prior experience in operation and management (O&M) as well as providing the total project cost up front for each of the airports, to better determine the financial capability of interested players.

Tender floated

Three days later, on December 14, the AAI floated a tender for operation, management and development under the PPP mode for the Lucknow, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Guwahati, Thiruvananthapuram and Mangaluru airports.

In February 2019, the AAI declared Adani Enterprises Limited the highest bidder for all six airports. On July 3, the Union Cabinet gave its nod for leasing three of these airports, while “a decision on the remaining three is awaited.”

No response

An email each to Subhash Chandra Garg — who was then Secretary, Economic Affairs, and also headed the PPPAC — as well as Secretary of the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) P.S. Kharola, with specific questions on the final decision, remained unanswered till the time of going to print.

The DEA and NITI Aayog’s detailed notes of the proposal on the six airports were circulated among the participating ministries ahead of the PPPAC meeting.

In its note, the DEA noted unequivocally, “the six airport projects are highly capital intensive projects, hence it is suggested to incorporate the clause that no more than two Airports will be awarded to the same bidder duly factoring the high financial risk and performance issues. Awarding them to different companies would also facilitate yardstick competition.”

To buttress its point, the DEA cited that though GMR was the only qualified bidder for Delhi and Mumbai, both the airports were not given to the same company.

Finance Ministry, NITI Aayog guidelines ignored in airport privatisation

 However, the PPPAC referred to a decision taken by the Empowered Group of Secretaries (EGoS) that “no restriction needs to be placed on the number of airports to be bid for or to be awarded to a single entity,” according to the Record of Discussion of 85th PPPAC, a copy of which is with The Hindu.

In a separate note, the NITI Aayog highlighted the need to have players with prior Operation and Management (O&M) experience. It referred to the Model Request for Qualification (RfQ) that requires an applicant without O&M experience to either tie-up with an entity or engage qualified personnel with the requisite experience.

On this issue, too, the PPPAC quoted the EGoS decision — “prior airport experience may neither be made a pre-requisite for bidding nor a post-bid requirement. This will enlarge the competition for brownfield airports which are already functional.”

This decision, again, was a departure from the earlier norm. During the first phase of privatisation, Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad airports each had to find a foreign player with O&M experience to comply with RfP norms.

Dropping O&M experience as a pre-requisite raises questions about the jurisdiction of EGoS. Headed by the CEO of NITI Aayog, it was constituted by the Union Cabinet to take decisions “on any issue falling beyond the scope of PPPAC”. However, according to PPP guidelines, O&M standards fall under the purview of PPPAC.

Question of cost

The DEA was also scathing in its criticism over a “critical” detail such as the “total project cost” missing from the RfP document.

“It is not advisable to keep the project cost open ended and it is essentially required to frame the eligibility criteria in terms of technical capacity, financial capacity and O&M experience and other financial covenants such as bid security, performance security etc, which are always in percentage terms of the estimate Total Project Cost.”

The DEA rejected the Ministry of Civil Aviation’s (MoCA)explanation that it was not possible to calculate the total project cost for the entire period of 50 years of lease, on the ground that these were brownfield airports and all the required data should be available. Nevertheless the PPPAC went along with MoCA.

The DEA had also raised concerns over the criteria of per passenger fee (PPF) for determining the winning bid and said the current PPF should be set as a reserve price.

However, according to AAI’s reply dated April 8 to an RTI plea filed by Sobhan P.V. of the Airports Authority Employees’ Union, “No study was conducted to ascertain the existing Per Passenger Fee.” The plea was filed after the completion of the bidding process and AAI’s response shows that it had no parameter to judge whether the PPF quoted by the winning bidder was better than what it was drawing at the existing airports.

In their over enthusiasm to award all the airports to the Adani Group, the central government has not accepted the proposal of the Kerala government to take over the Thiruvananthapuram Airport. 

 

THREE FEDERATIONS OF DEFENCE DECIDE TO LAUNCH 30 DAYS STRIKE AGAINST CORPORATISATION OF ORDNANCE FACTORIES; WE, NOW KNOW BETTER THAT WHAT WILL HAPPEN AFTER CORPORATISATION IN THE WAKE OF THE PRESENT STATUS OF BSNL.AIBDPA FULLY SUPPORTS THE STRIKE AND EXPRESS OUR SOLIDARITY.

Ordnance Factory Employees to go on 30 Days Strike against corporatization of OFB

According to Defence Ministry Sources, the Central Government is all set to Corporatize 41 Ordnance Factories to bring more accountability and enhance efficiency. But the 82000 Employees of this 218 year old organisation are fearing that their Job Security will be at risk. Hence three Defence Federations have decided to protest against this proposal and declared 30 days Strike from 20-8-2019 to 19-9-2019 . Three Federations made Joint representation to Minister of Defence to withdraw the decision of the Central Government. The following demand was made in the representation.

APPEAL TO THE HON’BLE RM

We appeal to your honour considering all the above aspects and also the fact that the future life of more than 82000 employees and their family members will be ruined in case Ordnance Factories become a Corporation / PSU. Out of the 82000 employees more than 44000 are recruited after 01.01.2004 and at the age group of 25 to 40 years. They have all joined the Ordnance Factories with lot of aspiration and expectations. Their Pension right is already taken away since they are governed under the no guarantee NPS Pension Scheme. They have planned their life requirement based on the present income which they are getting as wages from the Ordnance Factories. All these will be completely disturbed and destroyed for no fault of theirs. All of them including the young talented Officers and Workers are worried about their future which has now become uncertain. Therefore, in the interest of national security and achieving self reliance in Defence the decision of corporatization of OFB may be withdrawn.

CONCLUSION

In view of all the above justifications given by us, the three Federations unanimously have come to the conclusion that corporatization of OFB is not going to help either the Armed Forces or the employees and hence to outright reject the same and we propose that the Ordnance Factories should continue to remain in its present structure and if the Government wants further improvement in the functioning of the Ordnance Factories. we are open for a discussion and a negotiated settlement in this regard.

We are confident that the Hon’ble RM will appreciate the concern expressed by us and do the needful by withdrawing the proposed decision of corporatizing the Ordnance Factories.

It is also pertinent to mention here that considering the un helpful nature of the Government so far on the subject matter the three Federations have now decided to observe one month (30 days) 20/08/2019 to 19/09/2019 strike by the employees of Ordnance Factories and DGQA Units attached with Ordnance Factories demanding to withdraw the decision of the Government to Corporatize the Ordnance Factories.

Awaiting for your earlier and favourable response please.

Yours Sincerely,

(C. SRIKUMAR) 
GENERAL SECRETARY 
AIDEF
(R. SRINIVASAN) 
GENERAL SECRETARY
INDWF
(MUKESH SINGH) 
GENERAL SECRETARY
BPMS

JAIPUR SPECIAL GENERAL BODY MEETING.

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A special general body meeting was held at BSNLEU office Jaipur on 27-07-2019. Com.K P Sharma, Circle President presided over the meeting. Com. M K Nagpal, Circle Secretary inaugurated the meeting and explained the latest position in respect of the important issues of pension revision, delay in payment of medical bills/allowance, CGHS etc. Some of the local issues being faced by the pensioners were also dealt. He also reported that  General Secretary has consented to hold the circle conference on 4th November, 2019. The meeting then decided Jaipur as the venue of the circle conference.  The meeting  accorded reception with garlands to the new members attended the meeting.

CENTRAL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEETING AT GUWAHATI ON 24-25, NOVEMBER,2019

Assam Circle Branch has consented to host the next Central Executive Committee meeting and accordingly they have decided, in consultation with CHQ, to hold the CEC at Guwahati on 24th and 25th November, 2019.

The CEC will start at 10AM on 24th November and conclude by 5PM on 25-11-2019. All the CHQ office bearers and circle secretaries are requested to book their to and fro tickets well in advance to ensure their full participation.

The details will be intimated in due course. 

SHRI.ANSHU PRAKASH APPOINTED AS SECRETARY, TELECOM.

The Appointment Committee of the Central Cabinet ,in its meeting held on 24-07-2019, is reported to have selected Shri.Anshu Prakash as the new Secretary, Department of Telecommunications in place of Ms. Arunasundararajan who is retiring on superannuation on 31-07-2019. Shri.Anshu Prakash is currently Additional Secretary, Telecom.

AIBDPA congratulates Shri. Anshu Prakash on his appoitment to the coveted post and wish him all success in the new venture. We also hope to have a cordial relationship to ensure smooth settlement of the genuine issues of the pensioners.