GoM on BSNL, MTNL may discuss financial support, operation sync
New Delhi: A Group of Ministers (GoM), which is to look into the revival of state-run telecom firms BSNL and MTNL, is likely to discuss the issue of financial support and synchronising operations of the two companies so that they can work as single entity to save cost.
According to an official source, the Department of Telecom may seek nod from the GoM, headed by Finance Minister P Chidambaram, for a host of measures that would provide financial relief to both the loss making public sector units.
This would include financial assistance for retention of spectrum beyond the quantity that was allocated to them for mobile and other wireless telecom services.
DoT may seek GoM approval to waive off around Rs 980 crore principle amount of notional loan amount outstanding against BSNL.
"At the time of corporatisation of BSNL in October 2000, a 15 year notional loan was shown in the financial statements of BSNL to balance the accounts. This loan is being discharged at an annual interest rate of 14.5 per cent and penal interest of 2.75 per cent over and above normal interest rate," the source said.
Among host of proposals, the Department may seek GoM's nod on "framework of the PSU licences for considering the networks of BSNL and MTNL as single entity for provision of services".
The source said that with this, the PSUs would be able to function as single entity, offer same service plans to customers and save various charges like inter-connect charges which an operator has to pay to another for completing calls of its customers.
DoT expects that a medium-term revival plan for MTNL may get ready by this month end but for BSNL it may take more time.
The first GoM meeting is scheduled to take place on May 10.