RAJA RULES OUT MERGER OF BSNL AND MTNL

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telecom-ministerTelecom minister A Raja virtually ruled out the BSNL-MTNL merger saying it is difficult due to the lack of an identical factor between them.Identical factors are not there legally for BSNL-MTNL merger Raja said the minister who assumed charge on Monday however said the department was keen on the listing of BSNL and advised PSU management to start talks with the employees union for taking the company public.

The union has been opposing the listing. Late communication minister Pramod Mahajan had proposed the merger and was revived by Raja’s predecessor Dayanidhi Maran for synergy purpose. The government holds 56.25% in MTNL and it is listed in NYSE and in India. BSNL is 100% owned by the government. MTNL provides telecom services in Delhi and Mumbai, while BSNL serves the rest of India.

On plans to list BSNL in the bourses, Raja said the management has been advised to initiate talks with the employees union. “We want to list BSNL... We want to create a consensus for it. We have asked the BSNL management to talk to the union’’, raja said. Estimates suggest that BSNL is worth $100 billion and dilution of a 10% stake would help the company raise $10 billion (about Rs 48,000 crore).

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