BELEAGUERED state-owned PSU Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) is now treading another tricky line. Its surplus staff is depriving the telecom service provider its due profit as mounting salary bill is eating into the telecom provider’s revenues, reported a national daily. Now, the PSU has urged the finance...ministry to absorb the cost of their salaries.
BSNL has now urged the government to bear this legacy loss through the communications ministry. “The loss is a legacy that BSNL inherited when it was hived off the department of telecommunications (DoT). With 55 percent resources going in payments of staff, BSNL can never become a profitable unit. Operationally, BSNL is comfortable,” AK Shrivastava, chairman-cum-managing director (CMD), BSNL, told the national daily.
He said the operator’s losses were about Rs 7,000 crore. But added that the loss was a result of the depreciation of hefty assets it had inherited. “During the previous (UPA) government, the issue went till the Prime Minister. But nothing happened. I am hopeful that the finance ministry will take to the suggestion positively,” he said.
Shrivastava, who has taken over as CMD recently, has chalked out a new plan to enhance mobile services.
BSNL did not see any expansion during the period 2007-2012, but it has invested Rs 4,800 crore in latest GSM equipment.
The network has been set up, north and south zones have been completed. East zone has 20 percent installation, and work will soon begin on west zones.
“But data opportunity is big and BSNL has the biggest landline assets. We will push broadband through low-cost tariff, and integrate with our countrywide wi-fi zones, and our 3G mobile network,” said Shrivastava.
BSNL will soon float a tender to purchase high-end wi-fi boxes for seamless integration with 2G and 3G connections. The equipment will cost about Rs 900 crore. “This will help BSNL subscribers to not only get better data speed but also almost zero call drops,” said the CMS.