BSNL IPO still being discussed: Raja

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New Delhi, Aug 7: Telecom Minister A Raja said the final call on the proposed IPO of state-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) will be taken after meeting with the employees' Union. The meeting is being seen as the last mile effort by the Ministry to convince the Union about the IPO. Union leaders, however, have maintained that they will not agree to the IPO under any circumstance.

BSNL is expected to dilute 5-10 per cent of its stake through the IPO, which is likely to be brought out by March next year, with the shares to be listed at Rs 300-400. Employees are expected to be offered sops, which include shares at discounted rates. It is learnt that each employee may get 500 shares at the face value of Rs 10 each.

The BSNL employees' union, which has the backing of the Left parties, admitted that the political development at the Centre may have weakened their negotiating powers. The union, had earlier, said they would resort to an indefinite strike if the Government went ahead with the IPO.

The company is in the midst of finalising a tender for 90 million lines worth about nine billion dollars. The telecom major plans to utilise the proceeds from the IPO to roll out CDMA-based mobile network and a pan-India broadband infrastructure.

UNI

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