Wednesday, September 11, 2013

GoM to meet this week on BSNL, MTNL revival

The Group of Ministers (GoM) on revival of state-owned telecom firms BSNL and MTNL that is headed by Finance Minister P Chidambaram is scheduled to meet on Thursday.“GoM is on September the evening,” a government official told PTI. The GoM had last met on August 1 where it discussed the issues pertaining to pensions at MTNL and BSNL. 
  • The Department of Telecom (DoT) is believed to be in favour of a lumpsum payment of around Rs 5,925 crore as pension benefits to the MTNL staff.
  • It had proposed to implement the voluntary retirement scheme in both the PSUs for 1 lakh BSNL employees and 20,000 employees in MTNL.
  • MTNL sees pension as one of the three main issues —— besides refund of BWA spectrum and finance cost —— that needs to be resolved for company to become profitable by 2017—18.
  • It has been registering losses since 2008—09. In 2012—13, the company recorded a net loss of Rs 5,321.12 crore on annual revenue of Rs 3,428.6 crore.
  • BSNL losses, as per unaudited results, stood at Rs 8,198 crore for 2012—13, compared Rs 8,851 crore posted in 2011—12.
  • BSNL has been logging losses since 2009—10. The company’s profits started declining after 2004—05, when it had made net gains of Rs 10,183 crore.
  • The company expects its total income to grow to above Rs 44,000 crore by 2017—18, from Rs 26,396 crore it posted for last fiscal.
  • Both MTNL and BSNL have requested the government to refund the amount they paid for Broadband Wireless Access spectrum, used for providing 4G data services, in 2010 as well as financial support for one—time spectrum that has been levied on them for holding radio waves beyond the initial chunk allocated to them.
  • Spectrum related issues cumulatively involve about Rs 23,000 crore and are yet to be discussed by GoM.

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