BSNL And MTNL Needs To Work More Professionally : Telecom Minister

In a strong message to the management of BSNL and MTNL, the new telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has asked the PSUs to work more professionally to remain relevant in the industry.

“Let my message reach them loud and clear that while I work to revive them, these PSUs should also act professional. They need to show professional as well as competitive attitude,” Prasad said while sounding quite serious. “What is needed to act professional, we together can work out, but they have to work on this.”

It is a known fact that these two telecom operators, despite ample support from the Government are consistently reporting financial losses and MTNL has even been declared a sick company by the government.

The biggest problem these operators, besides their falling revenues, is their mammoth-size work force. To offer a perspective, BSNL alone has more than double the workforce of Airtel, Vodafone Idea and Jio put together.

The minister, however, said that reviving BSNL and MTNL is one of his top priorities in his second term.

“It is imperative to have a PSU operator to maintain a healthy equilibrium in the telecom industry,” Prasad said explaining the need for such revival. “It is also in the national interest that PSU telcos remain in force.”

He said, on a broader level, his priority will be to create a better synergy between the two industries – IT and telecom – which will make citizen centric services more accessible, meaningful and affordable.

He said his ministry will develop 5 lakh WiFi hotspots on priority basis which was announced earlier. Besides, one lakh digital villages too will be developed on priority.  Digital delivery of services are the corner stone of India’s Digital India program and it will further be expedited.

One more priority will be to ensure the speedy execution of BharatNet that aims to connect 2.5 lakh gram panchayats across the country.

The fourth priority he said will be to set up telecom manufacturing industries.

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