NEW DELHI: In an attempt to bounce back as a profit making entity, state-owned BSNL plans to monetise its assets like land, towers, factories and educational centres as it gets approved by Department of Telecommunications. The company estimates to garner around Rs 5,000 crore annually from monetising its assets.
Anupam Srivastava, Chairman-cum-Managing Director told Express, “If all the things put together for monetisation we would get around Rs 5,000-6,000 crore every year. We are already in talks with other operators for renting our towers and also with various colleges for turning this huge educational centres into engineering colleges.”
The company has around 70,000 towers, 30 educational centres and 7 factories as part of monetisation plan. The operator also hold assets worth thousands of crore in over 3,500 towns of the country, which is waiting for DoT’s approval to liquidate land to generate additional funds for the company.
At present, BSNL has tower sharing agreements with most of the private operators. As the towers of BSNL are spread across the country, even in the remote areas, private telcos prefer to share BSNL’s infrastructure rather than investing in setting up of their own network.
Srivastava further added that the company’s top line is around Rs 28,000 crore but our staff expenses are around Rs 15,000 crore. “That is cause of concern for us,” he said. For private operators their staff expenses are 5 per cent where as in our case it is around 55 per cent of our revenue, Srivastava added.
To reduce staff expenses for the company, a proposal pending in DoT for last one year. There are two options - first, to provide VRS, which will see an outgo of Rs 12,000 crore from the government. Another, to provide a soft loan of around Rs 6,000 crore to meet the staff expenses.
To further prune its losses, BSNL aims to reduce its depreciation loss of Rs 7,500 crore and generate revenue from data business.
Telecom Minister Prasad had asked BSNL to improve quality of services, especially in border and extremist-affected areas, in a bid to become market leader and win back people’s confidence.
He said that the government is committed to revive BSNL and a number of initiatives are in the pipeline to bring the PSU back to the position of market leader.
BSNL’s profits started declining from Rs 10,183 crore in 2004-05 before recording a loss in 2009-10.