BSNL awaits clarity from government for revival package

Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL)

The state-run telecom services provider Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) is waiting for approval of revival package by the government.

“Recently there have been published media reports on closure of BSNL. It is clarified that there is plan under active consideration for the revival of the BSNL by the government by giving suitable packages in terms of VRS/4G spectrum and allowing monetisation of the assets of BSNL,” the company said in a statement.

BSNL had proposed measure for voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) and reduction of retirement age, in a bid to trim its ageing employee strength by 54,000.

Recently there have been reports of the Finance Ministry suggesting cabinet to shut down BSNL and  MTNL as it was not in favour of the capital infusion into PSUs.

However, sources in the BSNL suggest that in its last meeting, crisis-hit public sector telco’s board didn’t take any measure decision as they were awaiting a “drastic measure” by the government. “It can be either revival package by the government or even closure,” a source in the know said.

The sources also suggested that in case of closure, BSNL would be able pay of the severance package to all its employees along making some ‘profit’ for the government by selling its assets.

“The landlines business would be evaluated and sold to private operators on operational basis in that case,” a highly placed source told DH.

The embattled firm has seen surge in struggle for existence recently, as it has been defaulting on the payment of salaries of the employee. According to the highly placed source, the company has been short of revenue by about Rs 1,000 crore every months, and that is why it has been defaulting on the payments.  

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