Govt Clarifies That There Are No Plans for BSNL’s Disinvestment
The Centre has no plans for disinvestment of state-owned telecom player BSNL, Minister of State for Communications Devusinh Chauhan informed the Parliament.
“There is no plan under consideration for disinvestment of BSNL,” he told the Lok Sabha in a written reply.
In 2019, the Centre had approved a revival plan for BSNL which included measures to reduce the staff cost through a ‘Voluntary Retirement Scheme’ (VRS) for employees of age 50 years and above.
The plan also included administrative allotment of spectrum for providing 4G services with funding through budgetary allocation, monetisation of non-core and core assets to generate resources to retire debt and meeting capex and other requirements along with debt restructuring by raising of Sovereign Guarantee Bonds.
Chauhan, in his response to another question, said: “As a result of these measures, BSNL has become EBITDA positive (operating profit) in 2020-21.”
To a question regarding the impact of the VRS scheme on services provided by BSNL, he said: “There is no delay or deficiency in services provided by BSNL due to implementation of VRS.
“Current strength of employees is sufficient for operation of BSNL.”
The telecom player had a domestic market share of 9.90 per cent for mobile subscribers and 15.40 per cent for wired broadband subscribers as on December 31, 2021.