Friday, September 1, 2017

MTNL mulls to monetise land assets; awaits for government nod

STATE-run beleagured telecom operator MTNL plans to generate revenues of Rs 350 crore by selling its under-utilised land assets purchased post-corporatisation.
MTNL also mulls to redevelop its leased assets through a public private partnership (PPP) model in Delhi and Mumbai.
Both the proposals have been submitted by MTNL to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) as part of its...
strategy for revival and generating additional sources of income, media reports said.
MTNL, which offers services in Delhi and Mumbai, has been incurring losses for the past 6-7 years and has a debt of over Rs 15,000 crore.
Reports said MTNL like to sell off its assets which are underutilised. These include land and assets bought after corporatisation including apartments/quarters and shops. Also the telecom operator would like to undertake developmental work through PPP route for leased properties to discover its best value.
However, for redevelopment of leased buildings, rounds of discussion need to take place as leasing out has conditions attached to it.
Consulting firm Deloitte had recently submitted its report on restructuring and revival of MTNL and a panel has been set up in the DoT to take the final decision.
At present, the government holds 56.25 percent stake in MTNL.
It is also in the process of investing Rs 400 crore for installing and commissioning 1,800 mobile towers to improve its network coverage and data speeds for its subscribers. The network upgrade would see subscribers getting 21 Mbps speeds from the current 3.6 Mbps.
MTNL has also been waiting for a government approval for its voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) where it has sought financial support of about Rs 1,000 crore. About 5,000 of its employees, about 18 percent of the total employee strength, are expected to opt for VRS if the plan is approved by the government. It will help the company save Rs 400 crore annually.
MTNL narrowed its net loss for June quarter to Rs 703.17 crore from Rs 718.02 crore a year ago. Its total income declined to Rs 812.66 crore in the reported quarter from Rs 881.93 crore in the corresponding quarter of 2016-17.
Total expenses were at Rs 1,515.83 crore in the quarter under review against Rs 1,599.94 crore in the year-ago period. Its expenses related to employee remunerations and benefit stood at Rs 608.22 crore against Rs 681.91 crore a year ago. The finance cost of the debt-ridden public firm increased 3.6% to Rs 358.36 crore.

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