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No Money for Food, Kids’ School Fees: Viral Video of BSNL Employee Puts Spotlight on Unpaid Salary Situation

BSNL has not paid the salaries of over 1.76 lakh employees for February.

The conditions at the state-owned telephone operator Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) are dire. BSNL, as per reports, did not pay salaries to over 1.76 lakh employees in February. The Mahanagar Telephone Nagar Limited, another public sector telecom unit, too had failed to pay its employees their February salaries.

The plight of the unpaid employees can be seen in one video that has gone viral on social media. In the video, a woman who is supposedly a BSNL employee can be seen crying about how the salary delay is affecting not just her life, but the lives of others around her as well.

She says she doesn’t ace about what the government has done or is doing; all she knows is that life at her home has become difficult. She said, “I know the officers in Delhi have received their salaries. Why? How much do they work? If they had not paid them, so many others could have been paid!”

Also read: Modi Hai To Mumkin Hai: For The First Time, BSNL Doesn’t Have Money to Pay Salaries to 1.68 Lakh Employees

She added, “An ordinary person’s monthly expense varies from Rs 20,000 to Rs 25,000. Our salaries, after deductions, come down to that. Their (officers’) salaries, even after deductions are something between Rs 70,000 and 80,000. Do they even have expenses worth that much?  They receive all kinds of allowances like taxi fares. If we have to go somewhere, we have to pay for autos on our own.”

She further said, “Even if I sell everything at my home, I would not be able to gather Rs 30,000,” adding that she has been struggling to gather enough money for meals and that she hasn’t been able to pay the school fees for her kids.

Employees have reportedly been receiving delayed salaries over the last few months. Speaking to The Hindu, MTNL Executives’ Association President JJ Mathias said, “Generally, we get our salary credited by the end of the month. The December salary was credited on January 5, 2019, the January salary was credited on February 21, and we are yet to receive our salaries for February.”

As per reports, BSNL’s associations and unions have claimed that the telecom industry’s financial health has suffered due to the predatory pricing of Reliance Jio. “Financial crisis is being faced by other operators also, but they are managing the situation by infusing huge amounts,” the All Unions and Associations of BSNL said in a letter to telecom minister Manoj Sinha.

Also read: BSNL Employees to Intensify Strike

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