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30 September 2014

Exclusive: BSNL and MTNL will not be privatised; instead they will be turned around : Ravi Shankar Prasad

According to a media report telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has said that the loss-making state-owned telecom service companies, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) and Maha Nagar Telecom Nigam Limited (MTNL) will not be privatised instead they will be turned around.

He was quoted as saying ‘experience in turning around loss-making PSUs and has done so with Coal India when he was coal minister during the previous NDA government’s regime’.

He also alleged that the previous government had ruined them and was responsible for their current plight. “BSNL and MTNL were not provided the requisite infrastructure support for 4-5 years by the previous government. There were forces interested that they do not do well and they succeeded,” Prasad said.

However, the Minister declined to give a time-frame for turning around BSNL and MTNL but said that he was closely monitoring them. Though he did not share his strategy for turning them around, he said that a merger between the two was being contemplated.

Prasad, who is overseeing the Digital India project of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, acknowledged that average spectrum holding with domestic operators was small compared to global averages. He also agreed that unless optimal spectrum was not provided to the operators, programmes like e-governance, e-health and e-education would not succeed.

Previously, it was repored that, Government is planning to shutdown loss making PSUs including BSNL and MTNL.

Dear readers, what do you think about this new comment from the Telecom Minister? Whether the government is really interested in th revival of BSNL and MTNL? Please share your opinions and views with us.

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