The central government will not close Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL). These two companies will be merged. The Union Cabinet has approved its revival plan. Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that both the telecom companies will neither be closed, nor disinvested nor will it be given to any third party to run.
Made this revival plan
According to the plan, MTNL will be merged with BSNL. VRS scheme will be introduced for BSNL employees. Sovereign bonds worth Rs 15,000 crore will be brought for revival of BSNL. Property of 38 thousand crore rupees will be sold. MTNL will remain a subsidiary of BSNL till the merger process is completed. Also, it has been agreed to provide 4G spectrum to BSNL-MTNL.
It has approved the formation of a joint committee to sell or rent the properties of both companies. The committee will comprise officials of BSNL, Department of Telecommunications and Department of Disinvestment. BSNL currently has a liability of 14 thousand crores and had a loss of 31287 crores in FY 2017-18. The company currently employs 1.76 lakh employees. By giving VRS, the number of employees will be 75 thousand in the next five years.
22 thousand employees in MTNL
MTNL currently has 22 thousand employees and the company has a borrowing of 19 thousand crores. The company spends 90 percent of its income in paying salaries to employees. In the next 6 years, about 16,000 employees of the company will retire.
This is why it is important for BSNL to stay
Prasad said that whenever a natural disaster such as floods, storms occur in any part of the country, BSNL is the first company to provide services for free. 75% of the company’s earnings are used to pay salaries of employees. Other companies spend only five to 10 percent on this item. The company is yet to pay its employees salary for the month of September. However company has announced that it will pay the salary before Diwali.
However, earlier the Finance Ministry was not in favor of running MTNL and BSNL and recommended their closure. Even before the cabinet meeting, a group of ministers headed by Amit Shah approved the revival plan of the two companies. The Finance Ministry disagreed on 80 points of the proposal.
Problems are coming in telecom industry
Prasad said that at present, there are many problems in the telecom sector, which the government is trying to overcome. However he further stated that service provider companies will have to upgrade their network, so that customers can get good services.
Millions of employees of government telecom companies BSNL and MTNL will get their outstanding salaries before Diwali. The management of both companies has announced this. MTNL has told the employees that they will get the arrears of wages by 25 October.
Salary is due in august-september
1.58 lakh employees of BSNL are yet to receive their salary for the month of September. At the same time, 22 thousand employees of MTNL have not received salary for the month of August except September. Following this announcement, MTNL employees have also postponed their picket demonstration.
MTNL’s GM HR & Legal Sandeep Keshkar has written a letter saying that the salary for the employees of August 2019 will be received before 25 October 2019. The employees of MTNL were paid their July salary on 20 August.