New Delhi: Government has entrusted state-run BSNL with various telecom network projects around Rs 25,000 crore in works, Parliament was informed on Friday.
The big projects include laying of optical fibre based network dedicated for use by Defence worth Rs 13, 334 crore and Rs 6,500 crore for execution of second phase of BharatNet Project, as per details shared by Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha in Rajya Sabha today.
“Optical Fibre Cable based Network for Defence Services (NFS Project) has been given to BSNL on nomination basis at the cost of Rs 13,334 crore. For execution of BharatNet project, government has provided Rs 5,744 crore in Phase-I and has earmarked Rs 6,500 crore in Phase-II for BSNL,” Sinha said.
The state-run firm has been awarded rolling out mobile networks in uncovered villages in Arunachal Pradesh and two districts of Assam at an estimated project cost of Rs 1,975.38 crore, implementation of transmission-media plan for North Eastern Region at an estimated cost of Rs 295.97 crore, laying of submarine optical fiber cable project at the cost of Rs 1,900 crore for providing connectivity to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands (ANI) and augmenting of satellite bandwidth in ANI and Lakshadweep Islands at an estimated cost of Rs 120.49 crore.
“Work of setting up of 25000 Wi-Fi Hotspots at Rural Telephone Exchanges at the cost of Rs 940 crore has been given to BSNL on nomination basis,” Sinha said.
He was replying to question over revival of state-run telecom firm BSNL and MTNL. Both public sector telecom firms have been incurring losses continuously since Financial Year 2009-10 and as per Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) guidelines, both CPSEs (Central Public Sector Enterprises) have been declared as “Incipient Sick”, Sinha said.
“Consequent upon declaration of BSNL as “Incipient Sick”, action has been initiated by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) for preparation of a revival/restructuring plan for BSNL as per DPE guidelines. Three Indian Institutes of Management (IIM) have been requested to submit their willingness for undertaking a study and preparation of a revival/restructuring plan for BSNL,” the minister said.
An internal committee of DoT is examining the recommendations of the report prepared by the consultant to decide the path of financial, human resources and corporate restructuring for revival of MTNL.
The MTNL consultant has recommended reduction in retirement age from 60 to 58 years for employees, voluntary retirement scheme , debt restructuring and synergy in operations of MTNL and BSNL.
Besides this, the recommendation for MTNL should focus on customers and defend current revenue besides generating additional revenue through network capex investment, asset monetisation – ease, Sale of real estate, buildings, lease or sale of mobile tower, fiber, copper and active equipments, Sinha said.