Work remained disrupted in the district BSNL offices with the entire staff boycotting duties and holding a dharna, under the banner of the CITU, in front of their office complexes demanding the immediate ‘scrapping' of the recommendations made by Sam Pitroda, Adviser to the Prime Minister on telecom matters.

The leaders addressing the demonstrators termed the recommendations as the thin end of the wedge to privatise the entire the BSNL service in the country.

They made a particular reference to the recommendation, which suggested disinvestment to a tune of 30 per cent in BSNL. They said the complaint that BSNL was steeped in losses and that it has lost its market share to its private competitors, was akin to the adage, “Call the dog mad before killing it”.

They attributed the loss of BSNL's market share, to the failure on the part of the government to procure in time the GSM equipments, as reportedly recommended by Pitroda.

They said that the Pitroda recommendations should not be viewed as something, which is only against the interests of the BSNL staff but should be looked at as a potential threat to the general public, in terms of quality service from private service providers, who they alleged after consolidation would form into a cartel and start calling their shots.

JAC meet

Anantapur Staff Reporter writes: Joint Action Committee of BSNL Trade unions and other associations and their leaders met on the office premises here on Friday and discussed several common demands of the employees . The union leaders discussed the government's proposal to go in for disinvestment in BSNL and in the context vehemently opposed the proposal saying that it is detrimental to the interests of the nation as well the employees.

The meeting held under the chairmanship of JAC chairman M.K. Padmanabhachari also flayed the management scheme to reduce the employee strength through encouraging voluntary retirement of employees and also outsourcing of work.

The leaders pointed out that BSNL, which had earned a massive profit of Rs. 10,000 crore in the 2004-05 had ever since been on a downward slide. The profit of late had decreased to Rs. 574 crore in the 2008-09 year.

Similarly the BSNL, which occupied second place in the cell phone services front has now dropped to fourth position due to the Government's self-defeating decisions. Many of the decisions the leaders opined were advantageous to their competitors rather than establishing BSNL as a top brand.The meeting also opposed the Sam Pitroda Committee recommendations on disinvestment of BSNL shares.

Those present were C. Shiva Prasad, convenor, JAC and M. Rajasekhar Reddy, district secretary, Employees' Association.

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