Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) are going to be merged after all. The government wants it to happen and to oversee the role of transactions advisor for the same; the Indian government has appointed the audit firm Deloitte. But the merger won't happen right away. It is a long process, as Deloitte would take around six to seven months to submit its analysis of the merger, said a Financial Express report. The report added that the merger could take up to two years because there are a lot of complexities in the matter.
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This would be a part of the Rs 1.64 lakh crore relief package that the government had announced for the two state-run telecom companies in 2022. The govt expects BSNL to turn profitable by the end of FY27. Telecom secretary K Rajaraman was quoted by the publication saying that because MTNL is a listed company, the process of the merger will take time. The telecom secretary confirmed that a transaction advisor has already been appointed. Further, he said that the government would also take the feedback from the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) later on the same matter.
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The talks of a merger of both the telcos have been there before as well. But it was opposed by the BSNL Employee Union. The BSNL employees don't want the merger between both the state-run telcos because it would hurt the already struggling BSNL. MTNL is a loss-making company with debt on its shoulders, and a merger won't do anything good for BSNL, believe the employees. As part of the revival package, the government has already merged BSNL with BBNL (Bharat Broadband Network Limited). This merger stands to benefit BSNL as now it has direct access to the fibre infrastructure laid out by BBNL throughout the country.