New Delhi: State run BSNL and MTNL did not get the structural support they required, leading to their present state of affairs, government said in the Lok Sabha on Monday.
Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said there is scope for improvement in the working of the two state run service providers. They were once making profit, but now they are incurring losses, he said.
Responding to supplementaries, he said the two service providers did not get the required support to run effectively in the past ten years.
His oblique attack on the previous UPA government led to a brief war of words between the opposition and treasury benches.
He said the competition between private and government run service providers will take place in the right earnest when BSNL's state of affairs improves.
Responding to supplementaries, he urged members not to make sweeping allegations against BSNL officials for being hand-in-gloves with private players so that the state run operator offers little competition.
The Minister said the government is conscious of the deficient services including the poor connectivity of BSNL's mobile network in the northeast and other hilly states.
He said the Telecom Commission had last month approved a comprehensive telecom development plan for the northeast at an estimated cost of Rs. 5,336.18 crore as per TRAI recommendations.