State-run telcos BSNL and MTNL are eagerly waiting for the revival package from the government to arrive so that they can compete with the competition in a better way. According to a new report from IANS, the revival plan for both BSNL and MTNL will cost around Rs 74,000 crore, of which Rs 22,000 would be used for acquiring 4G spectrum and for the voluntary retirement scheme (VRS). Another report from ET Telecom says the revival for both the telcos has received approval from the Cabinet, following the high-level meetings held on October 23. BSNL operates in 20 telecom circles, except Mumbai and Delhi where MTNL provides services to the customers. While BSNL is constantly adding new users every month, MTNL is losing the subscribers on a regular note.
BSNL, MTNL Revival Package Reportedly Received Approval from Cabinet
As noted, the report also says the government has approved to meet the expenses of both the telcos for opting voluntary retirement scheme (VRS). The stimulus worth for VRS would be Rs 14,000 crore for both the telcos. The IANS report also reveals the same; A total of Rs 74,000 crore would be provided as part of the revival package, in which Rs 22,000 crore would be used for acquiring 4G spectrum. BSNL will receive 4G spectrum with the help of Rs 16,000 crore, while MTNL will make use of the rest Rs 6,000 crore.
Very recently, BSNL Chairman PK Purwar confirmed that the telco is expecting to receive 4G airwaves by the end of 2019 and the deployment will happen by March 2020.
“The Telecom Ministry’s decision to send the revival proposals of BSNL and MTNL will go to the cabinet this month along with opinions given by all ministries, including the Finance Ministry. It will also contain the response of the nodal ministry to the queries, responses and comments given by several other ministries,” a source said to IANS.
Furthermore, the total revival package for BSNL and MTNL is said to cost the government Rs 74,000 crore. “The total package is Rs 74,000 crore. The 4G spectrum allocation funds of Rs 22,000 crore (Rs 16,000 crore for BSNL and Rs 6,000 crore for MTNL) will be the capital infusion. The rest of the funds will for their VRS, which they will also bear in part”, the report from IANS added.
BSNL and MTNL Employee Count Comes to Around One Lakh
BSNL and MTNL are struggling to generate revenues for more than ten years now, but the wors worsened after the entry of Reliance Jio to the Indian telecom market. BSNL went head-on with the Mukesh Ambani-owned telco, and in several aspects, it managed to beat the latter. But the lack of 4G services has hurt BSNL badly. Despite the only telco to add subscribers every month alongside Reliance Jio, BSNL is still struggling to make a mark in the industry.
The revival package from the Cabinet will help BSNL to compete with the private telcos in a better way. The Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS) will be a bold move, but the government is left with no other option rather than implementing it. The current employee count of BSNL is around 1,63,500, whereas MTNL has around 20,000 employees.
BSNL Chairman also confirmed that the telcos would receive revival package in another month or so, post which it will look for the 4G airwaves to launch 4G services by March 2020.