BSNL Receives Rs 25,000 Crore Worth Projects from Government, Will Kick-Off Second Phase of BharatNet-says the Minister.

The government yesterday allocated various telecom network projects to state-run telco Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL). The government has allocated Rs 25,000 crore for completing the assigned tasks. Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha informed this news to Parliament yesterday. These 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 the second phase of BharatNet Project.


“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 the execution of the BharatNet project, the government has provided Rs 5,744 crore in Phase-I and has earmarked Rs 6,500 crore in Phase-II for BSNL,” Sinha said, as reported by PTI.

Besides the projects mentioned above, BSNL has been awarded to roll out mobile networks in uncovered villages in Arunachal Pradesh and two districts of Assam at an estimated cost of Rs 1,975.38 crore. The government-owned PSU will also be responsible for implementing the transmission-media plan for North Eastern Region at an estimated cost of Rs 295.97 crore. It will also lay the 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 added.

Furthermore, at the same meeting, Sinha was asked about the revival of state-run firms BSNL and MTNL as both the companies have been incurring losses since FY 2009-10. As per Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) guidelines, both CPSEs (Central Public Sector Enterprises) has been declared as “Incipient Sick”, Sinha added.

“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 telecom minister added.

He further confirmed that 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 the revival of MTNL.”

Sinha also recommended the reduction in the retirement age from 60 years to 58 years for employees, voluntary retirement scheme, debt restructuring and synergy in operations of MTNL and BSNL.

“projects only will not help  the revival of BSNL-BSNLEU.

In reply to a question raised in the Rajya Sabha yesterday, with regards to the revival of BSNL, the Minister of State for Communications has replied that BSNL has been provided with government projects worth Rs.25,000 crores. This news is widely covered by the media also. It gives an impression to the general public that the government is spending Rs.25,000 crores for the revival of BSNL. Whereas, most of these projects give BSNL, the job of laying optic fibre cable, for which BSNL will be getting only a marginal amount as gain. These projects are really not going to help for the revival of BSNL. What the government needs to do for the revival of BSNL is, the immediate allotment of 4G spectrum to BSNL, as per the proposal already submitted by BSNL to the DoT. It may be noted that, in the meeting held with the All Unions and Associations of BSNL on 24-02-2018, the Hon’ble Mos (C) has assured that BSNL will be allotted with 4G spectrum soon.