New Delhi: The government on Friday said state-owned BSNL is considering a separate subsidiary for its tower- related infrastructure and has floated an expression of interest for appointing a consultant on the matter.
"BSNL has floated an expression of interest (EOI) for appointment of consultant to advise and assist it in setting up a separate subsidiary company for tower related infrastructure," Minister of State for Communications and IT Killi Kruparani said in a written reply to Rajya Sabha.
She said, however, that there is no proposal under consideration of BSNL for setting up of separate subsidiary company for land bank and other real estate.
The government had set up a committee in January 2012 under Sam Pitroda to review the functioning of BSNL.
"The committee recommended to create a separate subsidiary company for tower related infrastructure to aggressively market to other public and private sector customers and unlock the whole potential value through strategic stake sale, M&A or separate IPO," Kruparani said.
The committee also recommended exploring possibilities of monetising other such subsystems.
"To create a separate subsidiary to hold undeveloped land bank and other real estate assets and a large number of unutilised staff quarter etc, the committee further recommended to monetise the value of this subsidiary by collaborating with a reputed and experienced real estate company in a transparent manner," Kruparani added.
In a separate reply, she said BSNL has been witnessing a decline in its revenue for the last three years.
"BSNL's revenue declined to Rs 27,934 crore in 2011-12 from Rs 29,688 crore in 2010-11 and Rs 32,045 crore in 2009-10," she added.
In order to augment its revenue, BSNL has decided to rent out its telecom towers to other service providers and has also signed agreements in this regard with private operators for which revenue of Rs 132.87 crore has been realised since 2009-10.
"To monetise its land assets, BSNL has taken up a pilot project for the commercial exploitation of 10 parcels of land. For this purpose, a project development consultant has been appointed," she said.