In order to revive loss-making telecom PSUs BSNL and MTNL, the government today has decided to merge the two ailing firms as part of a revival package that includes raising sovereign bonds, monetising assets and voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) for employees. As part of the revival package, MTNL will be merged with BSNL. Pending this, MTNL will act as a subsidiary of BSNL.
Announcing a four-step revival plan for the two companies, Telecom Minister, Ravi Shankar Prasad said that the government wants to make the two state-owned telecom companies more competitive by putting in Rs 29,937 crore.
He also informed that the government will raise Rs 15,000 crore through sovereign bonds. “Assets worth Rs 38,000 crore will be monetised in four years,” Prasad added. In his announcement, the minister said that the 4G spectrum will be allocated to BSNL and MTNL. He also said that the government will offer an attractive VRS package for employees in both the companies.
BSNL, which is yet to pay employee salaries, has a monthly bill of Rs 850 crore on this count and has a staff 1.76 lakh on its roll.