Ignoring all Governments’ directions, Samir Jain & Vineet Jain-controlled Times of India Group has illegally implemented 10 to 20 percent salary cuts and planning for a huge retrenchment of employees in the garb of the Corona Crisis. The controversial Bennett and Coleman Company Limited (BCCL) which is popularly known as the Times of India Group which is running many newspapers, TV channels, and Internet platforms is having more than Rs.1000 crores profit is now coming out with fake stories of huge losses due to COVID-19 and planning for a huge retrenchment of journalists and other staffers.
According to insiders, the Jains have asked the department heads in Times of India & Economic Times newspapers and TV channels like Times Now and Mirror Now to prepare a list of employees to be sacked. This is nothing but a ruse to keep their profits intact by salary cuts and retrenchments, say many staffers. Another trick used by the owners is to transfer employees to distant areas and get automatic resignation from them.
“More than Rs.1000 crores is the entire Group’s minimum profit after all taxes have been paid. Obviously, due to 40 days of lockdown, there is a drop in the advertisement revenues. But they saved a lot in expenses by cutting the number of pages being printed per edition. Now newspapers are having only 12 or 16 pages while in their heydays they printed more than 40 to 50 pages. Losses are there but manageable comparing the annual profits crossing more than Rs.1000 crores after paying all taxes,” say, staffers, indicating that they would complain to the Government or prefer to go to Court.
On Tuesday, the Supreme Court has issued notice to the Government of India, National Broadcasters Association, and Indian Newspaper Society on the petition filed by various Journalist Unions against salary cuts and retrenchments in the garb of Corona crisis.
It is learned that many other journalists who are facing retrenchment threats from Times of India and other media organizations are expected to intervene in this case.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Subramanian Swamy has already filed a petition against Times of India owners Jain brothers accusing huge tax evasion and money laundering by floating series of shell companies.