Union Minister Chauhan; New Delhi, March 23: Union Minister of State for Communications Devusinh Chauhan has said that the government has no plans to privatize telecom company Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL). Responding to a written question in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday, he said there would be no lag or delay in the services provided by BSNL due to the Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS) introduced by the company for employees in 2020. He said the current number of employees is adequate for the company’s operations. According to the minister, the value of BSNL’s buildings, premises, towers, telecom equipment, non – telecom equipment and other assets stood at Rs 89,878 crore as on March 31, 2021.
BSNL’s share of domestic mobile subscribers stood at 9.90 percent as on December 31, 2021, compared to 15.40 per cent of wired broadband subscribers. The company is expected to make an operating profit in the 2020-21 financial year as a result of VRS implementation, funding for 4G services through budget allocations, mitigation of debt, sale of some assets to finance capital, and restructuring of funds raised through sovereign guarantee bonds.
Vishakha steel is better off if sold
The Center has made it clear that it would be better for the company to sell its government stake in Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited (RINL), popularly known as Visakhapatnam Steel. Union Steel Minister Ram Chandra Prasad Singh told Parliament on Wednesday that the diversification of RINL would bring fresh capital into the company, expand capacity and improve technology and management practices. RILN has not been able to maximize profits over the past decade, with losses of Rs. 7,122 crore. In January last year, the Cabinet approved in principle the sale of the entire stake in RINL, its subsidiaries and joint ventures.