No BSNL Investment Disposal Plan, Government Says

The government has stated that there are no plans to divest BSNL’s investment

New Delhi:

The government has no plans to divest the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) investment, Parliament was informed on Wednesday.

Minister of State for Communications Devusinh Chauhan in a written reply to the Lok Sabha also stressed that there were no delays or shortages in the services provided by BSNL following the implementation of the voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) in early 2020.

The current workforce is sufficient for the operation of the state -owned telecommunications corporation, Mr Chauhan said.

“There are no plans in consideration for the loss of BSNL’s investment,” Mr Chauhan said to questions related to BSNL’s immovable assets.

The value of immovable assets, including buildings, land, towers, telecom equipment and non -telecom equipment as at 31 March 2021, added to Rs 89,878 crore (total netblock), according to audited finances.

As of 31 December 2021, BSNL’s all Indian market share amounted to 9.90 per cent for mobile customers and 15.40 per cent for wired broadband customers.

The government approved a turnaround plan for BSNL in October 2019, which includes measures to reduce staff costs through VRS for employees aged 50 and above, spectrum administration allocation to provide 4G services with funding through budget allocations, monetization of non -core and core assets to generate resources for debt retirement, meeting capital expenditure and other needs as well as debt restructuring by raising government guaranteed bonds.

“As a result of these measures, BSNL has been positive EBITDA (operating profit) in 2020-21,” Mr Chauhan said.


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