Union Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the government is looking at all possibilities, including giving 4G spectrum to BSNL and MTNL, to make the two telecom PSUs more professional and competitive.
“To make BSNL and MTNL more professional and competitive, the government is exploring all possibilities. Since becoming minister, I have had 6-7 meetings with the officials,” Prasad said.
He said these public sector bodies need to be supplemented with 4G and the government will explore all options to make them viable and competitive.
“The BSNL and the MTNL also need to work together in a more professional capacity,” he said.
The Minister said the government believes that in order to maintain sober equilibrium in the industry, the public sector must be present and it is in the nation’s interest that they remain healthy.
Asked whether the government has any long-term plan to revive these PSUs, Prasad said, “The government is exploring all possibilities to bring these PSUs in good health.”
The minister countered charges of Trinamool Congress’s Kalyan Banerjee that government’s “Digital India” claims derailed due to lack of proper internet connectivity in all places.
“4G gives good digital connection but as far as the banking system is concerned whether it is 2G or 3G, banks have been operating on that. To say that in the absence of 4G, banking system has completely derailed, it is a little tall claim,” the Minister said.