Friday, August 12, 2022

Here’s what govt has to say about BSNL privatisation

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  • BSNL plays a significant role in providing communication systems under various projects of Government, said the minister
  • The government believes that the revival plan is likely to help BSNL turn around and remain competitive

New Delhi: In response to a question raised in the Rajya Sabha, Minister of State (MoS) for Communications Devusinh Chauhan has said categorically that there is no proposal under consideration for the privatisation of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL). The question was asked by V Vijayasai Reddy who is a Rajya Sabha MP and the national general secretary of YSR Congress Party. Responding to the question, the minister said that the government had approved a revival plan for BSNL and MTNL on October 23, 2019 and is not considering any plan to privatise the telecom PSU.

No privatisation; govt wants BSNL to turn around

“The revival plan inter-alia, includes measures to reduce the Staff cost through a Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS) for employees of age 50 years and above, administrative allotment of spectrum for providing 4G services with funding through budgetary allocation, monetisation of non-core and core assets to generate resources to retire debt, meet CAPEX and other requirements, debt restructuring by raising of Sovereign Guarantee Bonds and in-principle approval for merger of BSNL and MTNL,” said the minister. The government believes that these measures are likely to help BSNL turn around and remain competitive.

In a separate response to a question raised in the Lok Sabha on BSNL’s revival, Chauhan had said, “BSNL plays a significant role in providing communication systems under various projects of Government inter-alia Bharatnet, Network for Spectrum for Defence, for improving communication systems in North Eastern Region, Left-Wing Extremism (LWE) affected areas, border areas and other inaccessible areas.”

BSNL

BSNL incurred a loss of Rs 7,993 crore in FY18, Rs 14,904 crore in FY19, Rs 15,500 crore in FY20 and Rs 7,441 in FY21. After implementing the VRS scheme, BSNL has a total of 63,010 (Executive-29,832 and Non-Executive-33,178) officers/employees, as on October 31, Chauhan told the House. 

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