MPs demand steps to improve the market share of telecom PSUs

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New Delhi, Mar 17 (UNI) Cutting across party lines, members in the Lok Sabha today expresed concern over the "steady decline" in the market share of public sector companies in the area of telephone connections during the past few years.

Raising a supplementary on the issue during question hour, CPI member Gurudas Dasgupta alleged that there was a "palpable collusion" between officials of the MTNL and the BSNL and the private telecom companies, leading to the decline in the share of the public sector companies.

Minister of State for Communication Shakeel Ahmed admitted that there was a decline in the share of the MTNL and the BSNL, but said he was in total disagreement with the views of Mr Dasgupta.

He said the number of telephone connections of public sector companies had increased from 61.07 million in March 2006 to 76.46 million in January this year, though there was a decline in their share.

On the allegation about the poor mobile service of BSNL and MTNL, he said there was a dangerous trend of anti-social elements cutting the cable of the public sector telecom companies. Since this was a law and order issue, the state governments should act tough on such people.

He listed various measures taken by his ministry to improve the market share of the public sector telecom companies.

This included expansion of cellular mobile network and Wireless in Local Loop (WLL) network to overcome the network congestion and take care of the ever growing demand, introduction of a series of value added services for both mobile and landline subscribers and an improvement in the telecom services in rural areas.

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