LUCKNOW: HOPES for a revival package to resuscitate ailing telecom PSUs BSNL and MTNL continue to hang in the balance, with sources revealing that a meeting of secretaries held by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) remain undecided on a revival package.
A senior government official confirmed that a meeting on the issue had taken place on Thursday, chaired by principal secretary to the prime minister, P K Mishra, but he had not taken any decisions on the proposals. “There were contrary viewpoints expressed on the feasibility of some proposals,” the official said. The group of secretaries from related ministries will now examine the issue in detail.
The PMO had asked the Department of Telecom (DoT) to provide details on steps taken to monetise BSNL and MTNL assets and had sought a legal opinion on whether 4G airwaves could be allocated to the two firms administratively, and not through an auction.
The PMO had earlier highlighted issues with certain proposals submitted by the DoT and the Group of Ministers (GoM) headed by Home Minister Amit Shah, including recommendations to set up a special purpose vehicle for asset monetisation and carry out a merger between MTNL and BSNL.
Among the other recommended measures were a VRS package for employees at an estimated revenue impact of around `8,485 crore. BSNL currently has an employee base of 1.63 lakh, while MTNL employs around 22,000.