Govt weakening BSNL: CPM

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New Delhi, Mar 17 (UNI) The CPI(M) today charged the UPA government with deliberately weakening state-owned telecom behemoth BSNL to create more space for private players.

''The government has not provided sufficient funds to BSNL to set up new exchanges and cables as a result of which its market share has come down from 24 per cent in June, 2007 to 15 per cent now,'' party leaders Sitaram Yechury and Basudeb Acharia told a media conference in the premises of Parliament.

BSNL has been pushed to the third place in the country and if the present state of affairs continued, the day was not far when it would become an unviable entity, they added.

They alleged that the government's intention became evident when the Railways awarded a one-lakh telephone lines contract to Airtel and not the public sector undertaking.

The Marxist leader said they had written several letters on the issue to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh but the government had not done anything concrete for BSNL.

This, they alleged, only indicated that the government was out to ''kill the state telecom operator''.

''This is not only a violation of the Common Minimum Programme but also is not in the interests of the country and the people,'' they added.

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