ONCE the crowning jewels of the government, BSNL is today struggling to stay afloat amidst tough competition from private players and mounting losses. The NDA government is according top priority to revive the ailing PSU. But will the telecom major tread the path of profit?
Last month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad to...review the plans for revival of the state-run BSNL.
At the meeting, a presentation was made to Modi on the initiatives planned for the loss-making PSU. Senior officials of the Department of Telecom and BSNL were present.
The government is keen on reviving BSNL and MTNL that are facing stiff competition from private players.
“The Prime Minister is very keen on the revival of the PSU. He wanted a complete presentation on the entire working of BSNL, and the legacy issues faced by the company were outlined to him,” a national daily quoted an official source as saying.
Earlier, Ravi Shankar Prasad said BSNL, which runs a large network nationwide, earned a profit of Rs. 10,000 crore when the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government left office in 2004. However, in 2014, it suffered a loss of Rs 7,500 crore.
The government’s efforts were bearing fruit as BSNL’s revenue went up 2.1 per cent during 2014-15 and the number of active subscribers rose by 47 lakhs.
At March-end, BSNL had 7.72 crore mobile phone subscribers.
Meanwhile, the Centre will take its call on the proposed merger of state-run BSNL and MTNL in the next four-five months, telecom secretary Rakesh Garg said. But there are hurdles before the final merger takes shape.In a bid to mop up additional resources, the BSNL expects to generate Rs 500 crore revenue form utilising land bank, training centre and seven telecom factories as well as monetisation of its 75,000 towers.
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