Citing lower debt and a continuous increase in market share, an association comprising engineers and account professionals at BSNL has sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi's intervention for the revival of the state-run firm and also said that non-performing employees should be held accountable.
The All India Graduate Engineers and Telecom Officers Association (AIGETOA) in a letter dated June 18 urged the prime minister to provide a budgetary support to BSNL to help address liquidity crunch that is adversely impacting operation and maintenance of services at the organisation.
"We firmly believe that with minimum basic support from the government to do away with the current liquidity crunch, BSNL can once again enter into the league of profit-making companies," the letter said.
The association also stressed on a performance-based mechanism for BSNL employees so that good performers can be rewarded and non-performers be made accountable.
Both state-run telecom firms BSNL and MTNL have been reporting losses since the time they were asked to pay auction determined spectrum price in 2010 for all the circles where they operate.
MTNL operates in Delhi and Mumbai and BSNL in rest of the 20 telecom circles. While MTNL has been continuously posting loss and has showed no signs of revival, BSNL posted operating profit of Rs 672 crore in 2014-15, Rs 3,885 crore in 2015-16 and Rs 1,684 crore in 2016-17.
The association said that predatory market condition has brought the whole sector, including BSNL, under stress but the public-sector firm's market share kept moving in an upward direction.
"BSNL remained self-dependent and almost debt-free which is basically in sharp contrast to other telecom players which have been severely debt-ridden owing to huge loans taken from banks and other financial institutions," the association said.
It said BSNL has never defaulted on payment of salaries to its employees except for one month and even during that stressful period, the form managed operations from its own resources and without any external support.
Both MTNL and BSNL have approached the government for a revival package by allowing them to monetise their assets and allocation of spectrum for 4G services to enable them compete in the market.
The government had considered the issue on a priority basis even when model code of conduct was in force for the recent Lok Sabha elections. According to Minister of State for Telecom Sanjay Shamrao Dhotre, the proposal for revival of both PSUs is likely to be placed before the Cabinet in the next 3-4 months.
The association mentioned the government's decision over lateral entry of professionals and deployment of retired people at key positions for 'efficacy and output' and demanded implementation of performance-link policy at BSNL."We also look forward to adoption of the same professional and result oriented system in BSNL where carrot comes with performance and stick comes with the non-performance. Today our company is at a very crucial position where even a slight negligence further may result to complete doomsday for our beloved company," the association said.