No signs of rehabilitation in BSNL even after 9 months of announcement
Thrissur: Even though BSNL announced rehabilitation package 9 months ago, the company is still how it used to be. No one in the company knows when 4G facility, one of the biggest attractions in the package, will be made available. Although the maintenance of land phones has been given to external contractors, the consumers still do not gain from it.
The various programmes announced to increase the revenue of the company are also moving at a snail’s pace. The only thing implemented properly is the facilitation of voluntary retirement of 78,569 employees. The rehabilitation package was announced by a committee consisting of three union ministers in October 2019.
There were opposition from various corners when tender was called for installing of 4G equipment on towers in March. This was when Telecom Equipment and Services Export Promotion Council sent a letter to the central government stating that the tender conditions were harsh.
All expectations of 4G plan came to a halt when the committee made the recommendation that 20 percent of the project should be included in Make In India project. The tender was called off within a month. There is no information on when the tender will be called next.
The decision to give BSNL buildings on lease in order to increase the company’s revenue did not come to fruition. Although the third floor of BSNL headquarters in Kerala was evacuated to be given on lease, it still remaining vacant.
Permission granted for On Demand bonds for revenue generation is the only silver lining in this regard. BSNL has been granted permission for use of bonds worth Rs 8500 crores and MTNL for bonds worth Rs 6500 crores. The finance ministry has included in the contract that the bond will be applicable only until it remains within the government sector.