NEW DELHI: The government on Saturday kicked off the non-core asset monetisation of telcos as it invited bids to sell six assets of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL) through its new asset monetisation portal.
“Non core asset monetisation commences with the first set of six properties of BSNL/ MTNL bid out on the MSTC portal. Link of the portal can be accessed at https://dipam.gov.in/asset-monetisation,” reads the tweet of Tuhin Kanta Pandey, Secretary of the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM).
The move is part of the government’s National Monetisation Pipeline (NMP), which was announced by finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman in August. As per the scheme, the government would raise Rs 6 lakh crore through unlocking optimal value of public sector assets through asset monetisation.
According to documents uploaded on DIPAM website, it has reserved Rs 970 crore for real estate assets of MTNL and BSNL. BSNL’s properties located in Hyderabad, Chandigarh, Bhavnagar and Kolkata have been posted for sale at a reserve price of around Rs 660 crore. The e-auction for MTNL assets will take place on December 14.
In 2019, the Union Cabinet decided asset monetisation to revive the ailing government-owned telecom giants. It includes a voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) to slash employee cost and a merger of MTNL with BSNL, which has now been shelved due to the companies’ financial constraints.