7th Central Pay Commission and BSNL employees: The 7th Central Pay Commission (CPC) is not applicable to all the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) employees as reported earlier by several media houses. The 7th Pay Commission implementation seems to be a distant dream for the debt-ridden and loss-making public sector undertaking (PSU) which is also suffering from a complicated organisational structure.

The Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) employees have been protesting under the banner of the All India Unions and Association (AIUA) demanding salary hike, promotions and pension revision according to the recommendations made by the 3rd Central Pay Commission which is applicable every 10 years.

Wasi Ahmed, General Secretary (Incharge), All India Graduate Engineers and Telecom Officers Association (AIGETOA), told newsx.com the 7th Central Pay Commission is not meant for the BSNL employees rather it is for the 500 (approx.) Indian Telecom Service (ITS) officers who originally belong to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) and are on deputation in the BSNL. Ahmed said the DoT officers are already getting it (hiked pay) from the Centre for more than a year while the AIUA is fighting for its rights.

Ahmed alleged that all the executive and non-executive employees of the BSNL have not received their hiked pay on the basis of the recommendations made by the 3rd CPC which is applicable every 10 years as per the Central Public Sector rules. It is a matter of pity that even the 2nd CPC has not been fully implemented in the BSNL till date for the employees who were directly recruited by the PSU, he added.

AIUA, BSNL

A source said the 7th Pay Commission is not applicable to the BSNL employees as it is a PSU, but the wage revision of is applicable. Currently, the issue is lying on the discussion table while the unions are demanding wage revision on the pretext that they are not the ones to be blamed for the loses incurred by the BSNL.

There are three types of employees in the BSNL — Officials who got absorbed in BSNL from DoT, 2) People who were directly recruited by the BSNL and 3) DoT employees who are working in BSNL on deputation basis.

1) Officials who got absorbed in BSNL from DoT: They were absorbed in the BSNL from DoT after its formation on October 1, 2000. They are covered under PRC as any other Central Public Sector Enterprise (CPSE) and 3rd Pay Revision Committee (PRC) is due for them since January 1, 2017. The 3rd PRC has not been implemented in the BSNL.

2) Officials who were recruited by the BSNL directly: They are also covered under 3rd PRC w.e.f. January 1, 2017, but not avail the benefits as the 3rd PRC has not been implemented in the BSNL. These employees are the Engineering and Account professionals who are working in the lower and middle levels. BSNL recruited employees have not been extended full retirement benefits as recommended by 2nd PRC till date to give up to 30 per cent Annuation Benefits (SAB) w.e.f January 1, 2007. They are still demanding to get 7% of the remaining SAB from the BSNL management. These above two categories of employees form 99% of the total employee base in the BSNL and have not been availed the 3rd PRC benefits.

3. DoT employees who are working in BSNL on deputation: They come under the purview of the 7th Pay Commission and have already been availed the benefit. They are the senior officers in the BSNL and their actual number could be anything about 2,000.

The Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has 1.76 lakh while the MTNL has around 22,000 employees across the country. The BSNL shouldered a debt burden of more than Rs 14,000 crore and accumulated loss of Rs 31, 287 crores at the end of 2017-18. The government is planning a near Rs 8,500-crore VRS support scheme for both BSNL and MTNL to reduce the large pool of their ageing manpower and infuse fresh life in the ailing PSU, reports said.

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