Government begins hunt for new MTNL CMD

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The Indian government has begun hunt for the new head of loss-making telecom operator Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) after a gap of two years. The telecom PSU has been operating without a full-time CMD since May 30, 2014, when A K Garg retired from the post.

According to a PTI report, the government has constituted a search-cum- selection committee under the chairmanship of Chairman, PESB for appointment to the post of CMD, MTNL on deputation basis for a period of five years.

The report noted that the selection 'on deputation' basis will make government officers in any department eligible, who can also go back to their service after their tenure.

P K Purwar, the Director (Finance) of MTNL is holding the post as additional charge. He had earlier held the additional charge between June 2014 and June 2015. Narendra Kumar Yadav, a Member (Services) Department of Telecom, was also given the additional charge of CMD on June 8, 2015.

In May this year, Telecom Commission had given its nod to a proposal to provide voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) to employees at MTNL. The move is aimed at reviving the loss making telco which has been losing revenue of up to Rs 2000 crore per year.

MTNL posted a consolidated net loss of Rs 2,012.24 crore for year ended March 31, 2016, as compared to Rs 2,901.16 crore at the end of March 2015. As per reports, the telecom PSU expects to post operational profit at the end of the current financial year and turn profitable in 2017-18.

The state-run telco failed call drop test conducted by telecom regulator, Trai. The network quality of MTNL has deteriorated sharply due to shortage of equipment. MTNL had reportedly floated a tender for the network transformation, but it shelved off that project.

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