The Sanchar Nigam Executives Association (India) of the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has written to Cabinet Secretary K.M. Chandrasekhar, urging him to strictly deal with the issue of some top BSNL executives joining private telecom companies.

“There is need to put in place a sound and foolproof detection mechanism and highly stringent punitive provisions to deal with and arrest the deadly and fast spreading menace of nexus of top management of BSNL with service providers/vendors,” it said.

BSNL was facing stiff competition from private telecom companies and losing its personnel to rivals. The absence of strict penal action had made things easier for top BSNL executives to switch jobs, the association pointed out.

In two such cases, top officials, both Indian Telecom Service officers, joined a leading telecom company in violation of service rules. Though both had retired, they failed to take clearance from the government prior to joining the new organisation. They have been penalised with a 25 per cent deduction from their monthly pension for one year.

In the past few years, several top executives of BSNL and the Mahanagar Telecom Nigam Limited (which operates in Delhi and Mumbai) — besides those of the Department of Telecommunications — have joined hands with leading telecom operators and equipment manufacturers, who in turn are utilising their experience to counter the State-owned telecom firms, said association general secretary G.L. Jogi

“One of the main reasons for the present state of serious crisis in BSNL has been that a good number of officers belonging to top-level management and closely involved in taking strategic and critical policy decisions relating to business and growth of the company have been on the payroll of service providers and vendors,” he told The Hindu.

‘Unscrupulous nexus'

“The modus operandi of such an unholy and unscrupulous nexus is carefully calibrated and the mechanism of its detection is so feeble that hardly anyone is brought to book. A large number of officers of the top management of BSNL, particularly at the Board/CGM level, develop a very close nexus with service providers while in active job, and immediately after retirement, join them as consultants,” he noted.

“We have urged the government to plug the existing loopholes and infirmities and take stringent punitive action against such dubious officials. We have also demanded a thorough probe by an external investigating agency to establish the involvement of a large number of officers in such murky affairs,” he added.

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