BSNL disinvestment only after consulting stakeholders

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Mumbai , Feb 14: Union Government has assured the employees of state owned telecom major BSNL that any disinvestment move would be implemented only after extensive consultations with the stakeholders, including telecom trade unions.

Addressing an All India Conference of BSNL Employees Union here yesterday, Union Minister for Communications and Information Technology A Raja, however, asked the BSNL Employees to look on the positive aspect of such a move as it involved the future growth of BSNL. He said that the issue of disinvestment needed a healthy discussion as BSNL's future involved its sustainability in a competitive telecom market and to ensure more transparent growth getting immense benefits in areas of overseas acquisitions, operations and transfer of technology.

Complementing BSNL for successfully transforming itself into a PSU from a government department, he said that the telecom giant has played a crucial role in bringing down telephone tariffs in the country. Mr Raja indicated that mobile phone tariffs were set to go further down, due to more competition in coming days. The Government has already decided to reserve 3G spectrum for BSNL 3G services.

Also present at the Conference, BSNL Employees Union General Secretary V A N Namboodri said that the employees would go on an indefinite strike from February 26 in protest against the dis-investment move.

CITU President M K Pandhe question to disinvestment of VSNL to the Tatas for a paltry Rs 1320 crore when in addition to huge real estate property, the company had a liquid cash balance of Rs 1200 crore. He said because of the policies adopted by the telecom department BSNL had already slipped from number two to number four in mobile network connections.


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