BSNL says that the DoT is finalising a revival plan for the Public Sector Unit (PSU) and it is not closing down.
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Recently, the Times of India reported that the government has asked the state-run telecom operator BSNL to look at all options for mitigating the occurring losses. As per the report, revival, disinvestment and closure were some of the options on the table and it was speculated that the Public Sector Unit (PSU) might finally shut shop. However, BSNL has sent out a press release that negates the rumours that the telecom operator could shut shop as the option is not under consideration by the government. Additionally, the Department of Telecom (DoT) is said to understand the telecom operator’s “huge infrastructure and reach, especially in rural areas.”
“Attention of Government has been drawn to certain reports in a section of the media which convey the impression that BSNL may be closed down. However, this is not true. At present there is no proposal under consideration with the Government for closure of BSNL. On the contrary, Department of Telecommunications, Government of India (DoT) recognises and values the inherent strengths of BSNL as a telecom services provider with huge infrastructure and reach, especially in rural areas. Further, DoT is in the process of finalising a proposal for revival of BSNL to be considered by the Digital Communications Commission (DCC) very soon.” the BSNL press release states.
BSNL further states that the news report by ToI has “unnecessarily tried to focus on closure as one of the options for revival of any PSU which is not in consonance with the current thinking of DoT”. So, it seems that BSNL is not going to shut down anytime soon as the company says that the government wants to see the PSU thrive and be financially viable.
While BSNL reportedly accumulated losses of around Rs 31,287 crore at the end of 2017-18, the company has recently made some new changes and introduced new services to tackle the growing losses. It renamed its internet service to BharatFiber as it moved to delivering internet connectivity over fiber instead of cable. Recently, it refreshed the plans it offers under the broadband service to offer daily data instead of monthly data and has also partnered with Amazon to offer free one-year Prime memberships to its users. BSNL BharatFiber broadband subscribers who have opted for the company’s ‘18GB Plan’ (unlimited internet plan priced at Rs 777 per month) and above will get to avail the benefit of free one year of Amazon Prime subscription.
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