NEW DELHI: Armed with an assurance from Telecom Minister A Raja on floating a fresh tender for 90 million mobile lines, the BSNL Employees Union on Wednesday deferred till the first week of September a decision on striking work.
Convenor of the BSNL and MTNL joint employees union V N Namboodiri said: "We have decided to defer the decision on the strike till the first week of September as the Minister has assured us that there would be a fresh tender for 90 million GSM lines comprising 2G and 3G.
BSNL Union had threatened to strike work after the size of a tender already floated was halved to 23 million lines and plans to immediately procure 3G equipment dropped. The Union demanded that the full order size of 45.5 million lines be implemented along with the 3G component.
"We will review the situation in September. We will have an all-India Convention meeting during the Parliement session to bring out our demands", he said.
In fact, BSNL has also been allowed to place advanced purchase order to procure core equipment for 3G mobile services even before the policy is announced to keep it at par with the private operators. But it will be left to individual circles to place purchase order when the policy is announced.
Raja had earlier given his approval to BSNL to place an order for 23 million GSM cellular lines instead of the earlier announced 45.5 million lines.
The Union had then expressed its dissatisfaction about the size of the contract. The BSNL contract had run into rough weather in October when Motorola legally challenged its disqualification from bidding for the project. Subsequently, it withdrew the case.