Government is consigned state-run BSNL with various telecom network projects around Rs 25,000 crore in works, parliament was informed today.
The big projects include laying of optical fibre based network specially for the use of Defence worth Rs 13,334 crore and Rs 6,500 crore for execution of the second phase of BharatNet Project, as per the detailed provided by the Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha in Rajya Sabha today.
“Optical Fibre Cable based Network for Defence Services (NFS Project) has been given to BSNL on nomination basis at the cost of Rs 13,334 crore. For the execution of the BharatNet project, the government has provided Rs 5,744 crore in Phase-I and has earmarked Rs 6,500 crore in Phase-II for BSNL,” Sinha said.
Government allocates projects worth Rs 25,000 Crore to BSNL
BSNL has been awarded rolling out mobile networks in the uncovered villages in Arunachal Pradesh and two districts of Assam at an approximate cost of Rs 1,975.38 crore., implementation of transmission-media plan for North Eastern Region at an estimated cost of Rs 295.97 crore, laying of submarine optical fiber cable project at the cost of Rs 1,900 crore for providing connectivity to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands (ANI) and augmenting of satellite bandwidth in ANI and Lakshadweep Islands at an estimated cost of Rs 120.49 crore.
Sinha further added, “Work of setting up of 25000 Wi-Fi Hotspots at Rural Telephone Exchanges at the cost of Rs 940 crore has been given to BSNL on nomination basis”. He is actually replying to the question raised by the revival of state-run telecom firm BSNL and MTNL.
Since 2009-10, both the public sector telecom companies are incurring losses and according to Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) guidelines, both CPSEs (Central Public Sector Enterprises) have also been declared as “Incipient Sick” by Sinha. Minister further added, “Consequent upon declaration of BSNL as “Incipient Sick”, action has been initiated by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) for preparation of a revival/restructuring plan for BSNL as per DPE guidelines. Three Indian Institutes of Management (IIM) have been requested to submit their willingness for undertaking a study and preparation of a revival/restructuring plan for BSNL”.
Currently, an internal committee of DoT is analyzing all the suggestions of the report provided by the consultant make proper financial, human resources and corporate restructuring for the revival of MTNL. MTNL Consultant has suggested a reduction in the retirement age from 60 to 58 years for employees, optional retirement scheme, debt restructuring and synergy in operations of MTNL and BSNL.
MTNL should focus on attracting new customers and defending current revenue along with generating additional revenue via network capital expenditure, asset monetisation – ease, Sale of real estate, buildings, lease or sale of mobile tower, fiber, copper and active equipments, etc.
Due to above reasons, Government allocates projects worth Rs 25,000 Crore to BSNL. We hope that the Company develops new projects which will be beneficial for the society. On the other hand, BSNL should be able to generate new customers and good revenue.