BSNL without Director(F) for 2 yrs; DoT expresses helplessness

BSNL without Director(F) for 2 yrs; DoT expresses helplessness

The stay order given by the Delhi High Court on the entire process of appointment is still to be vacated.

"Government is seriously concerned over the delay (of the appointment). The Delhi High court gave a stay which did not allow us to proceed further and for two years no director finance could be appointed for a company which has over Rs 30,000 crore turnover because of the stay order," senior Telecom Ministry officials said.

Recently, the Government has appointed RK Upadhyay as the Chairman and Managing Director of the beleaguered firm BSNL.

Asked about the current status of the matter which is still lingering in the court, officials said "several petitions have been filed by the Government before the court to expedite the procedure on the stay... even arguments have been concluded and again a request was made to lift the stay. It's two months since the case was over, for us it is still in the same position in the court".

When contacted Telecom Secretary R Chandrasekhar told PTI the government is trying to get the stay vacated and hoped that a new Director (Finance) would be appointed soon.

Sources in the PSU said the absence of Director (Finance) has affected or delayed several projects which could have generated good revenues for the loss-making PSU.

In fact the government had finalised the appointment of Director (Finance) but one of the unsuccessful candidate approached the Delhi High court about two years ago and got the stay on the process and since then legal process is going on.

The telecom behemoth is suffering from financial losses due to huge labour wage cost and declining subscribers.

BSNL, once the country's flagship telecom company, posted a net loss of Rs 1,823 crore on revenue of Rs 32,046 crore in 2009-2010. The company had net profit of over Rs 10,000 crore in 2005-06.

In its projections to the government, BSNL is expected to to post a net loss of Rs 2,725 crore on revenue of Rs 31,738 crore during 2010-11, and the loss is expected to narrow to Rs 623 crore on revenue of Rs 36,569 crore during the current fiscal year (2011-12).

The PSU has slipped from number two position in ranking of telecom subscribers to number five in view of intense competition from the private players.

The PSU has a big handicap of not being present in India's top two markets -- Delhi and Mumbai -- as in these two metros another PSU MTNL operates.