Ministry of Communications and Information Technology may soon clear the pending dues of MTNL endured after surrendering 4G or Broadband Wireless Access (BWA), said Arvind Sawant, MP, Shiv Sena, South Mumbai.
The decision is said to have taken after a meeting among the Minister of Communications Ravi Shankar Prasad, Rahul Shewale and Sawant, on issues of liabilities of MTNL. According to reports, the meeting have occurred after a series of letters written to the Ministry by Sawant from last September, pointing various issues faced by BSNL and MTNL.
“Since the inception of the new government, we have not moved an inch in improving the services of BSNL and MTNL, despite assurances of the minister in Parliament,” Sawant said.
“MTNL and BSNL together paid Rs.11,258 crore for acquiring the broadband wireless spectrum in 2010, which depleted much of their resources. Besides, despite the previous regime of clearing pensionary liabilities, those dues have not been paid yet. Even in the face of losses, the company has been doing well in the broadband sector, but lack of money is affecting improvement in services,” Sawant elucidated.
Sawant is a long-time leader of Kamgar Sena, MTNL’s State Union.
Minister of Telecom Ravi Shankar Prasad agreed about the meeting held with Sawant, but refrained from commenting on the payment dues. “We sat down with the MP (Sawant), who has been long associated with MTNL, and discussed a comprehensive set of issues to help the company.” On the payment of BWA dues, Prasad said, “I do not want to go into specifications at this moment,” Minister is reported to have said to a leading daily.
Early this year, MTNL and BSNL surrendered the spectrum at Rs. 4,533.97 crores and Rs. 6,724.51 respectively. However, the PSUs paid a much higher rates for the spectrum.